UK & World News
World Cup Pub Opening Ban Overruled By PM
David Cameron has overruled the decision not to allow pubs across the country to stay open late to screen key World Cup matches.
The British Beer and Pub Association had applied for a national extension of opening hours for two occasions during this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
The first was for pubs to remain open for the England v Italy game on Saturday, June 14, which is due to start at 11pm UK time and the second was for the final weekend of the tournament on July 11 and 12.
However, the Home Office turned down the application saying that there would be no national extension of opening hours because it was not a case of "exceptional circumstances", such as the royal wedding or the Queen's Jubilee.
Instead pubs would be expected to apply individually for temporary licences, a process the BBPA claimed would have cost the country's thousands of pubs a total of £738,000.
However, the Prime Minister is now looking to introduce a nationwide extension of opening hours for the England game and the World Cup final, irrespective of who is playing.
Mr Cameron tweeted: "I have ordered a rethink on pub opening times for England's World Cup games - will consult with pub trade, police and councils."
The only England match affected by an "after hours" start is the Italy game because it is being played in Manaus, where the time difference with the UK is significantly greater.
The games against Uruguay on June 19 and Costa Rica on June 24 are not affected by the time difference as kick off times are 8pm and 5pm UK time respectively.
If the England team progresses any further then all fixtures will be at 9pm. The final will be at 8pm on July 13.
Sky News Chief Political Correspondent Jon Craig said: "This is a real swift u-turn because Norman Baker, a Liberal Democrat - another coalition rift here possibly - was pretty emphatic on Sky News rejecting calls by the British Beer and Pub Association."
BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "This would make for the most fantastic news for thousands of publicans and millions of football fans.
"I am delighted that the Prime Minister has intervened to back Britain's pubs and make clear that England's World Cup campaign is a time for celebration.
"This common-sense decision would remove a great deal of bureaucracy for pubs and local councils - and makes clear that the best place to enjoy the England team's journey is in your local pub.
"We are absolutely thrilled that our efforts have made a real difference for football fans and pubs."
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