after normal pub closing times under proposals outlined in a
consultation document published today.
Under home office proposals, restaurants would no longer have to go
hour after normal pub closing hours.
It would remove the need for licensees to obtain a separate supper
hour certificate, together with the requirement to provide live music
or entertainment, to secure an extended hours order to serve alcohol.
Specific approval from licensing justices would still be required for
extended hours orders.
The moves are part of the government's on-going commitment to
modernisation of the liquor licensing system and are subject to
Home office minister Mike O'Brien said:
'These proposals would help to bring restaurant licensing into step
with modern living. They maintain proper controls but remove
'The proposed changes will provide greater freedom of choice for the
individual and savings for the business community.
'But we are also very conscious of the need to safeguard residents'
rights. Any concerns registered in response to the consultation on
this point will be considered carefully.'
The proposals were also welcomed by tourism minister Janet
'I welcome these proposals to address an issue of considerable
concern to restauranteurs. They are in line with the government's
strategy for the tourism and hospitality industry and to help develop
tourism in the UK to its full potential.
'Simplifying the law will enable the UK's excellent restaurants to
give an even better level and quality of service and meet the demands
and expectations of their customers - particularly those from
Commenting as MAFF minister with responsibility for food and drink,
Joyce Quin also fully endorsed the proposals:
'I welcome the proposal as another positive step in the government's
on-going commitment towards ensuring that liquor licensing laws are
brought into line with modern living conditions.'
1. A copy of the consultation document will also be available
on the home office website (home page www.homeoffice.gov.uk/). The
deadline for responses to the consultation document is 28 January
2. A restaurant that wants to provide a bar must have a full
on-licence. Restaurant hours are constrained in the same way as other
on-licences by the normal permitted opening hours (11.00 am to 11.00
pm on Mondays to Saturdays; noon to 10.30 pm on Sundays).
Restaurants that wish to serve alcohol with meals beyond these hours
may apply under section 68 of the Licensing Act 1964 a supper hours
certificate. This is granted locally by a licensing justice to allow
a restaurant to serve drinks for one additional hour - ie to midnight
on weekdays and 11.30 pm on Sundays.
3. Under section 70 the Licensing Act 1964 a restaurant may apply to
a licensing justice for an extended hours order, which authorises the
supply of alcohol for a further hour on all nights except Sundays.
The Act lays down conditions that the supply of alcohol must be
ancillary to the provision of meals and of live music or other
4. The necessary legislative changes to the Sunday Observance Act
would be made by means of an Order under section 1 of the
Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. The consultation paper
constitutes formal consultation on the proposals for change, as
required under section 3(1) of the 1994 Act.
5. The home office announced a general, wide-ranging review of liquor
licensing laws on 5 May 1998. This review is separate from the
consultation on restaurant licensing.