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Government relaxes laws on beer, wine and bread sales

04 January 2011 by

The Government is to scrap regulations banning the sale of small measures of beer and wine as well as different unwrapped bread sizes, it has confirmed.

Existing laws limit licensed premises to selling alcoholic drinks in certain measures, while bakers may produce loaves of unpackaged bread in set sizes only.

But Science Minister David Willetts confirmed today that he would update the rules, which were aimed at protecting consumers but have not taken account of changes to consumer demand and trade practice in recent years.

The current regulations mean wine cannot be sold in measures of less than 125ml, while beer must be sold in thirds, halves or multiples of half pints. Fortified wine must be sold in the same quantities as normal wine.

Under the changes, premises will be able to sell wine in measures under 75ml and beers may be sold in ‘schooners' which are two thirds of a pint. It will also be possible to sell fortified wine in smaller sizes of 50ml and 70ml.

Fixed sizes for unwrapped bread will be scrapped so that bakers are free to innovate. Under current regulations, unwrapped bread weighing more than 300g must be made up in quantities of 400g or multiples of it.

Willetts said: "This is exactly the sort of unnecessary red tape the Government wants to remove.

"No pub or restaurant should break the law by selling a customer a sample of wine."

The changes, which apply to the whole of the UK, come into force in the current session of Parliament.

Pressure grows for change in law on wine measures >>

Government gives go-ahead for more flexible drinks measures >>

Dan Lepard's bread roll masterclass >>

By Neil Gerrard

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