Lords approve extended Euros licensing hours so fans can ‘get properly on lash’

An order to extend licensing hours during the Euros, that will enable “people to get properly on the lash”, has passed through the House of Lords and is ready for royal assent.

The order to the Licensing Act 2003 (UEFA European Football Championship Licensing Hours) will extend sales of alcohol if either England or Scotland reach the semi-final or the final of the Euros, meaning premises will be allowed to remain open until 1am without having to notify the licensing authority.

Conservative peer Lord Sharpe of Epsom, told the Lords: “So much of the business at the Home Offices is difficult, so it gives me particular pleasure that my last outing basically enables people to get properly on the lash.

“My Lords, please drink responsibly.”

Earlier, Lord Sharpe said existing legislation facilitated relaxed opening hours “to mark occasions of exceptional international, national or local significance.”

He said: “And as I hope Your Lordships will agree, the progression of England and Scotland, or both, to the late stages of the competition would represent just such an occasion.

“Should that happen people will want to come together in celebration and support of the home nation teams.”

Lord Sharpe said that during a Home Office consultation, more than 80% of respondents were in favour of the extended licensing.

Fans watch England v Germany
Fans watch the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match between England and Germany at the Vinegar Yard pub in London (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

He added: “However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the police are not in favour of extending licensing hours given the potential for increased disorder.

“Police deployments and resourcing are operational matters, of course, but I’m sure forces will, as they have in the past, put in place plans to minimise the risk.

“It’s also worth pointing out that this is a limited, two-hour extension to licensing hours, which is a proportionate approach to mark these events.”

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington said the measures are “very reasonable and it sets a good precedent for actually when having an extra bit of celebration for a major event.”

He thanked fellow peers for their work over the current Parliamentary session and wished them well over the General Election, stating: “(I) hope that nobody here gets bitten by a dog when delivering a leaflet.”

The extended hours will only apply if England or Scotland make it through to the semi-final or final of the Euros, and only on the day those teams play.

They also will not apply to businesses that sell alcohol to be consumed off premises such as supermarkets and off-licences.

Shropshire Star