Proposed relaxation of alcohol licensing hours to mark the Royal Wedding

The Home Office has published a consultation paper (that can be downloaded below), in which it seeks views on whether to relax licensing hours across England and Wales to mark the wedding of Prince Henry and Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018.

The Government proposes to make a licensing hours order under Section 172 of the Licensing Act 2003 which would extend opening hours to 1am on Saturday 19 May and Sunday 20 May 2018 for the sale of alcohol for consumption in licensed premises in England and Wales.

Of considerable value to pubs and bars is the fact that the Royal Wedding will coincide with the FA Cup Final, that is also taking place on Saturday 19 May. The Home Office encouragingly comments that “there have been no reports of increased football-related disorder as a result of the previous extensions to licensing hours for the weekend of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, which coincided with two Euro 2016 matches involving England and Wales, and the extension of licensing hours during the World Cup 2014”.

The consultation runs for four weeks from today 7 January to Sunday 4 February, and responses may be sent:

  • online via a questionnaire accessible here,
  • by email to: [email protected] or
  • by post to: Licensing Hours Consultation Alcohol team, 5th Floor, Fry Building, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, SW1P 4DF