LONDON (AFP) - British pubs should stay open late to screen matches in the upcoming football World Cup finals in Brazil, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday, Feb 3, 2014.
"I have ordered a rethink on pub opening times for England's World Cup games - will consult with pub trade, police and councils," Mr Cameron wrote on his Twitter account.
The British Beer and Pubs Association (BBPA) had asked the interior ministry to push back closing time from 11.00pm to 1.00am to take into account the time difference for England's opening game against Italy on June 14.
It also asked for an extra two hours on July 11 and July 12, the weekend of the final.
But the department rejected the request, instead leaving individual pubs to apply for a one-off late licence at a cost of 21 pounds (S$43.80 dollars).
"It is right that we consult but, subject to that consultation, clearly our intention would be that pubs would be able to be open for the relevant games, reflecting the fact that it is a major national event," said a spokesman from Mr Cameron's Downing Street office.
A Home Office spokesman added: "Given the time difference between the UK and Brazil and the fact some matches kick off at 11pm, the consultation will cover late-night matches occurring on the opening weekend, the closing weekend of the World Cup 2014 and for England's 11pm matches."
The BBPA, which represents 49,400 establishments, hopes the World Cup will provide a 20 million pound boost to the economy.
"This would make for the most fantastic news for thousands of publicans and millions of football fans," said the organisation's chief executive Brigid Simmonds.
"This common sense decision would remove a great deal of bureaucracy for pubs and local councils."