VAT duty cut campaigners meet MPs at the Brexit department

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

Trade and MPs talk: (l-r) Paul Scully MP, Tim Martin, Bob Blackman MP, Kate Nicholls, Chris Guyver and Brigid Simmonds
Trade and MPs talk: (l-r) Paul Scully MP, Tim Martin, Bob Blackman MP, Kate Nicholls, Chris Guyver and Brigid Simmonds
Leading figures behind the campaign to reduce VAT in the hospitality industry met with a number of senior Conservative MPs who support the beer and pub industries.

The VAT duty cut campaign’s spokesperson Chris Guyver was joined at the House of Commons by JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive (ALMR) Kate Nicholls, and British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

Martin said: “This was an excellent meeting and shows that the campaign to reduce VAT in the hospitality industry is being taken seriously at the highest level.

“I told the meeting how the industry is responding positively to the opportunities flowing from Brexit.

“In particular, the opportunity to reduce VAT in pubs and restaurants was now more achievable as the UK leaves the EU, unencumbered by European Commission rules that currently prevents this.”

Ongoing action

In the wake of the decision to leave the European Union there have been increased calls on the Government to reduce VAT for the UK’s hospitality industry which currently stands at 20% – compared to 7% in Germany, and 10% in France, Italy and Spain.

BBPA's Simmonds said: “We will continue to lobby parliament to ensure the pub trade benefits from Brexit. The meeting was a good opportunity to discuss with MPs the opportunities of Brexit.

“At the end of last year, we published an ambitious export strategy that aims to exploit potential new trade deals and grow beer exports by £100m over the next five years. We also discussed how the ‘tier’ immigration system needs to be reviewed​ if it is to work for pubs.”

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “MPs warmed to the idea that leaving the EU will make eating and drinking in pubs and restaurants much cheaper.”

Chris Guyver concluded: “The meeting was a powerful expression of support for the industry from ministers responsible for implementing Brexit.

“They recognise the unique economic and social role of the pub and casual-dining sectors and pledged to ensure the myriad benefits of leaving the EU, including the reclamation of the UK Government’s ability to levy taxes such as VAT at rates appropriate to the British economy will be implemented over time.”

Related topics: Legislation

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