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On 29 June 2021 a Bill aimed at modernising Northern Ireland’s liquor licensing legislation passed the final stage in the Assembly. The Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill, introduced by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, will deliver sweeping reforms to modernise Northern Ireland’s licensing legislation with the majority of the changes being introduced from 1 October 2021, when the Bill takes effects. Thereafter, the remaining changes will take effect from 6 April 2022.
The passing of the Bill marks a significant mile stone for licensing legislation in Northern Ireland, which has been in the making for a number of years. The Communities Minister said,
“I’m delighted to deliver the long awaited modernisation of liquor licensing laws. Today sees the Bill reach a milestone, completing its legislative passage through the Assembly.”
The Bill includes the following changes:
Meanwhile, a full statutory review of licensing laws in Northern Ireland will be held by the Department for Communities which will include a review of the current “surrender principle” which prevents a new pub or off-sales licence being granted unless an existing one is surrendered.
The much welcomed liberalisation of Northern Ireland’s licensing legislation will place the jurisdiction on a more equal footing with the rest of the UK and Republic of Ireland.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact our Tourism & Licensing team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.