In yet another setback, the draft proposals have been withdrawn for a second time after a committee of MPs and peers ordered the Home Office to clarify regulations on the controversial scheme before Parliament debates whether it should become law.
The regulations were first released in December but were swiftly withdrawn, with new guidelines reissued in January.
But in a memo to trade and government bodies on Monday, and leaked to OLN, the Home Office’s Alcohol Strategy Unit said it had again withdrawn the document because of a “drafting flaw”.
The latest hold-up relates to the wording of the local authorities’ complaints procedures, which was referred to as an “appeals process” rather than a “complaints process” by “mistake”.
The government said it had taken the “opportunity” to amend the draft further and gave trade associations until yesterday to respond to the changes.
Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “Three days is not enough time to respond to something classified as seriously redrafted guidelines. We asked for an extension, but were told that it was not possible.” WSTA confirmed it will still submit its reaction.