A bill aimed at modernising Northern Ireland’s liquor licensing laws was brought before the Assembly yesterday (20 October).
Originally set to be discussed before the Assembly’s collapse in January 2017, the legislation is set to bring about changes to the country’s laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Included in the series of proposed measures will be additional opening hours for particular venues and the scrapping of restrictions around Easter trading in licenced premises.
Colin Neil, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, said: “Hospitality Ulster welcomes the introduction of the Liquor Licensing Bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly this evening by Minister Murphy on behalf of the Communities Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín who is self-isolating.
“This is an important step in modernising the archaic liquor licensing legislation here and will bring significant changes to the wider sector. We are now keen to see swift passage of the bill from the introductory stages to committee”
He added: “After years of lobbying for much needed change, this bill is even more timely and crucial due to the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality sector.
“Despite the pain currently being faced by hospitality businesses, we are hopeful that this new legislation will have a positive impact on trading next Easter and beyond.”