The political interest in Night Time Economy is not very high, based on the number of times the theme gets raised and the amount of time a debate is about to be allocated. On Tuesday next week there will be a debate that Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown is organising in the Westminster Hall. The title of the debate is Social distancing restrictions and support for the night-time economy. However it is one of five debates that are due to take place in Westminster Hall on that day and with one of the others these two have been arranged for only 30 minutes. However the other three are all given an hour or 90 minutes in two cases. This seems lacking due to the nature of the issue. There is one clear indication that perhaps not many MPs are concerned about the night-time economy. The most recent person who raised the subject in the House of Commons was Lloyds next door neighbour, Caroline Lucas. Her written question gained a rather inadequate answer from Paul Scully who is the BEIS Parliamentary Under Secretary as is shown below. The response came on the 21st May. There have been a small number of other questions or statements on the theme of the Night Time Economy in the last 10 weeks. There was one in the Scottish Parliament on the 2nd June and A number of elements in debates with the London Mayor on the 30th and 31st of May. In the House of Commons there was a comment from Alexander Stafford who is the Conservative MP for Rother Valley when he was speaking about funds for his area on the 13th May. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Edward Davey referred to Night Time Economy on the First days debate from the Queens Speech on 11th May and Barry Sheerman who is a Labour MP asked a question on 21st April. This was the total number of references over the last 12 weeks. Now to be clear if we go back to the 25th March the Labour MP Sarah Olney did raise the theme and that followed quite a few references in the earlier days, however it does seem strange that in the last 10 weeks there have only been 4 references and one came from each political party. Let us hope that the debate on Tuesday even though it is only for 30 minutes will be a positive break in this subject. Back over to Caroline Lucas three weeks ago
CL: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of the night time economy on the possible introduction of covid-19 passports for access to night time venues; what assessment he has made of the potential effect of such passports on the number of people attending night time venues; if he will make it his policy to provide that sector with (a) clear guidance, (b) adequate notice and (c) a time table setting out Government plans to introduce such passports as a requirement to enter a night time venue; and if he will make a statement.
PS: The Government has previously set out that it believes that COVID-status Certification could play an important role domestically and as a temporary measure. We have not taken any final decisions but have committed to set out the conclusions of the Review ahead of Step 4 of the Roadmap. Ministers have engaged regularly with businesses throughout the pandemic including nightclub representatives.