Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021 implementation: letter to tied pubs sector

Letter to tied pubs sector providing an update on implementation of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021 from Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise.

I am writing to update you on the position with regard to implementation of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021.

In response to our stated intention to lay the first of the SSIs required to implement the Act, which concerned the role and appointment of the Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator, the Judicial Review petitioners intimated a motion for interim orders preventing the making or laying of SSIs under the Act. 

Scottish Ministers opposed the motion but on 27 February the Court of Session granted an interim order which effectively pauses the implementation of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021. This order will remain in place until the Judicial Review appeal has concluded. No secondary legislation, such as the Scottish Pubs Code, can be laid in Parliament and a Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator cannot be appointed. Section 4 of the Act, setting the timescale for implementation, has been suspended.

There remains an overarching obligation on the Scottish Ministers to bring the Act into effective operation and we are committed to doing so. We will continue with our preparatory work to make this happen as soon as the judicial review appeal is complete, assuming it is in our favour.

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