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Scottish Government announces study on tied-pub tenants

Scottish Government announces study on tied-pub tenants

Thanks to the effort of hundreds of Scottish campaigners who wrote to their MSPs about pubco reform, the Scottish Government has committed to commission a study into the tied-pub sector to determine what actions need to be taken.

The announcement came during a lively debate in Holyrood, following a motion lodged by Paul Martin MSP. The motion called for a Statutory Code of Practice for pub companies in Scotland and for an Adjudicator to protect hard-working licensees to allow them to offer a wide selection of beers and promote market competition. It also recognised the CAMRA survey, which found that 99% of rent-tied pub tenants in Scotland would support such a move.

The motion received cross-party support on paper and received further cross-party endorsement in the debate chamber as MSPs from a range of parties stood up to speak in favour of such reform. Sandra White, John Mason and Michael Russell represented the SNP, Neil Bibby, Graham Pearson and Anne McTaggart spoke on behalf of Labour and Alex Johnstone represented the Conservatives. Patrick Harvie also spoke as a CAMRA member and on behalf of the Green Party, demonstrating the wide-range of support for the issue.

The Business Minister Fergus Ewing closed the debate by recognising that the matter needed to be taken forward, and that he would be open to the measures put forward. In addition, he said that "there is therefore an argument that, if action is required, we might want to go further than legislators down south have done, if the evidence gives us a basis for doing so." The Scottish Government will commission a study into the tied-pub sector in Scotland to determine the best course of action and will come back to the chamber or make a parliamentary statement to outline their intentions once this is reviewed.

CAMRA in Scotland will be working hard to maintain pressure on the Government to fulfill this commitment and take the necessary steps forward to protecting tied-tenants in Scotland.