Following a memorandum agreed between the two bodies and signed in London last week, the BBPA will now be able to assist Pubs of Ulster on Westminster as well as wider UK issues, while Pubs of Ulster will bring to the table its expertise on Northern Irish public affairs.
“For us, decision-making in the devolved administrations is becoming ever more important, as issues that arise in one assembly, can often spread to others,” said the BBPA’s chief executive Brigid Simmonds
“Northern Ireland MPs also play an important part on decision-making at Westminster. This new partnership will really improve our understanding of key issues facing the trade in Northern Ireland, and I am sure we can also help Pubs of Ulster with their Westminster work.”
The move will enable the two organisations to coordinate their campaigning and representation work, with key areas of mutual interest including taxation, licensing, alcohol policy, responsible retailing of alcohol, property/planning, and tourism.
Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, added: “With a number of important issues relating to Northern Ireland (including Beer Duty and VAT) still the responsibility of Westminster, our partnership with The British Beer & Pub Association will not only strengthen our political lobby, but also enhance our understanding of the developing issues in GB which could potentially impact pubs in Northern Ireland.
“I look forward to sharing knowledge and expertise to the benefit of both memberships.”
The BBPA is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 49,500 pubs.
Pubs of Ulster was founded in 1872, with members drawn from pubs, bars, café-bars, hotels and restaurants across Northern Ireland.