Jackie Baillie and Neil Bibby campaigning with Dumbarton publican Tam Murray (centre) at the Glencairn Lounge in Bridge Street.

By Bill Heaney

The Scottish Government application for permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court in the tied pubs debate has been lodged and formally served on Scottish ministers.

Labour MSP Neil Bibby, who works closely with Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie, said:“The need to support Scottish pubs and their tenants has never been greater and the Tied Pubs Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament over two years ago to do just that.

“This appeal is just the latest desperate attempt by discredited PubCos to delay its implementation and find ways to dodge the new Pubs Code.

“It speaks volumes that the PubCo lobby continues to use its financial might to preserve an unbalanced relationship with tenants, and to delay the will of the Scottish Parliament.

“It is disgraceful that they are using money from Scottish pubs tenants to try and prevent the same Scottish pub tenants from getting new rights. That tells you everything you need to know.

“Instead of working constructively with small Scottish pub tenants to introduce a fairer system, they are determined to delay and circumvent the new rights Parliament has given their tenants. 

“This law supports Scottish pubs, and PubCos should be ashamed to stand in its way.

“The Scottish Government must not sit on its hands in response, however. They must take all appropriate steps to ensure that the Pubs Code is ready to be implemented at the earliest opportunity. 

“They must also consider as a matter of urgency all other avenues available to them in order to ensure fairness for tied pub tenants, and to bring a halt to the unfair practices of huge national and multinational pub companies.”

In December 2022, the Court of Session rejected a challenge from three pub companies (or PubCos) to the competency of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Act 2021.

Earlier this year, the PubCos’ appeal for judicial review was roundly rejected.  Just this week a large pub company has bought even more Scottish pubs including the iconic teuchters’ Park Bar in Glasgow.

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