Extra reason to toast British Euro success

Licensees will be hoping for English and Scottish success at the Euro 24 football championships – and not just for patriotic reasons. In a move which recognises nationwide interest in the Germany-based event, the Government has made provision for longer opening hours should either or both of the Home nations make it through the group stages and into the business end of the finals.

The Licensing Act 2003 (UEFA European Football Championship Licensing Hours) Order 2024 introduces the contingent order, which only comes into force should England and Scotland – or either one – negotiate the quarter-finals, the first of the tournament’s knockout stages.

Football pundits will say there are no easy matches when it comes to a major tournament, but England will be hopeful of topping their group, which includes Slovenia, Denmark and Serbia. Scotland have been drawn with hosts Germany, who will be one of the favourites to win the event. But with Hungary and Switzerland making up their group, the Scots will feel they have a good chance of second place.

If results go as expected, there is a chance that the two British sides could meet in the quarter-finals, but if either (or both) reach the last four, with matches played on Tuesday, July 9 and Wednesday10, then the extended hours contingent comes into force.

Matches in the latter stages of the competition start at 8pm and the Government has amended licensing laws to permit a two-hour extension (from 11pm to 1am) on any night when England or Scotland play a semi-final. The same will apply should there be British representation in the final on Sunday, July 14. The legislation is straightforward, but any queries around later opening and compliance can be fixed with a simple call to us at Complete Licensing.

If there’s no British team in the last four, normal licensing hours will be in force, so let’s all keep fingers crossed that England manager Gareth Southgate and his Scottish counterpart, Steve Clarke, give us something to toast.