Let’s celebrate the Lionesses!

I’m not a football fan, but even I watched the Lionesses win their semi-final on Wednesday morning. And I will be glued to the television on Sunday from 11am. What a treat for England, and indeed for the whole country!

Of course, many people love watching big matches in the friendly atmosphere of their local, and that also helps the local economy. Unfortunately, the timing on Sunday is awkward to say the least, because most pubs won’t be able to sell alcohol until 11am at the earliest, or even 12pm, according to their current licence. Which is why the Lib Dems have made a bold move and called for a recall of Parliament today to introduce emergency legislation to allow pubs to open in time for the match.

Daisy Cooper said:

This is an open goal for the government. The Lionesses have made history by reaching the final, it’s only right that people across the country can come together and show their full support on Sunday.

MPs should get down to Westminster tomorrow and score a last minute winner for our pubs and the Lionesses.

Now it MAY be a coincidence – but Michael Gove has sent a letter to Council leaders encouraging them to open pubs early this Sunday. But there is a catch: Pubs have to apply in advance for a temporary extension to their licences and the deadline for applications for this weekend was 11th August. Gove is simply asking Councils to expedite any existing applications, not to allow last minute ones.

Wherever you watch it – enjoy the match! And good luck to the Lionesses.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • I remember in 2021 when the England Men’s team reached the final of the Euros, pubs were allowed to stay open later than normal – it was announced just days before the match without a special session of parliament to agree it. Could this be done this time, or was it a cheeky (but helpful) misuse of the Coronavirus legislation (now expired?)

  • Mary, really, as a Welsh supporter I ………………..

  • @theakes – well, if Wales was in the running … Don’t we all support the home nations?

  • Nonconformistradical 18th Aug '23 - 6:59pm

    I’m not a football fan either. I reserve the right not to watch the match (all I’ve seen to date are highlights on news bulletins). None shall be enslaved by conformity!

    But I wish the Lionesses well in the final.

    And surely on this occasion the police have better things to do than trek round pubs checking if alcohol is being sold early……

  • Back in the days when the old Liberal Party was a regular party of government, many Liberals were TT, members of the Band of Hope and took a very sceptical view of alcohol.

    Given that road deaths connected with drink driving (nearly 300 last year) are at an all time high, I hope everyone concerned benefiting from Govey’s latest attempt to achieve a measure of popularity goes home on the bus or by taxi.

  • Moyra Forrest 18th Aug '23 - 8:38pm

    Go Lionesses! Great to have things to celebrate in difficult times.
    Recall of Parliament seems rather extreme; for me party’s a bit too guilty of knee-jerk populism.

  • George Thomas 18th Aug '23 - 11:17pm

    Have you watched football while sober? Have you gone to a pub and drank a soft drink? The Lib Dems don’t think you exist and want to recall of Parliament today to introduce emergency legislation because you don’t exist.

    “Don’t we all support the home nations?”

    Mary, we live in a UK where St David’s Day is blocked from being a bank holiday but Westminster political leaders want a bank holiday if England win the World Cup. That’s where we’re currently at in terms of how football and relationships between home nations is going.

  • David Rogers 19th Aug '23 - 8:12am

    Fascinating mix of responses to Mary Reid’s piece, which I’ll return to in a moment. On the original issue, here Devon & Cornwall Police announced yesterday that they will not be taking enforcement action against any licensed premises that sell alcohol before their normal hours tomorrow – welcomed of course by our many hospitality venues at the height of the tourist season! Personally, given the timing, I shall be watching at home after my usual later (and larger) Sunday breakfast – probably with a coffee at some point so the issue of drinking alcohol before, during, or after the match is of no concern to me.
    Mary and George: no, we definitely do not ALL support (other) home nations in sport! Nonconformistradical: well said about enslavement by conformity! David Raw: yes, our party history is important, as is your other point about drink driving. Moyra: I wholeheartedly agree about the trend towards knee-jerk popularity announcements.

  • Mary, it is not so simple as that, have you been to Scotland when England are playing in a tournament.

  • The players are wonderful on and off the field. It’s the interviewers and the commentators I can’t cope with!

  • Ruth Bright 20th Aug '23 - 6:34pm

    Alas, poor “cousin” Millie 😢

  • Peter Martin 21st Aug '23 - 8:25am

    @ Mary

    “Don’t we all support the home nations?”

    I do. But, I’m not all of us. I was once admonished by my Scottish sister-in-law for supporting Scotland in a football match. I always do that unless they are playing England

    She wouldn’t ever support England, no matter what, and she prefers that I take the same view about Scotland! I think she’d also like me to boo Andy Murray at Wimbledon!

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