Britain’s opposition conservatives have forced a vote on the government’s plans to extend pub opening hours.
It comes as authorities launch the biggest ever crackdown on binge drinking and alcohol fuelled violence in the run up to the Christmas holidays. Police will target drunken behaviour with on-the-spot fines. A hard hitting advertising campaign has also been launched to encourage people to take a more responsible approach to alcohol. But the opposition Culture Minister Theresa May says allowing pubs to open longer will only make matters worse. “If we have extended licensing hours … people are going to drink more and we’re going to have yet more of the problems of anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder that we see being fuelled by alcohol,” she says. By giving pubs and bars to greater flexibility over when they close, the government says drinkers will not spill onto the streets at the same time which often triggers drunken fights and vandalism. If MPs back the opposition motion, the government may have to wait until next year to introduce the new laws.