Below is the text of the statement made by Kit Malthouse, the Minister for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, in the House of Commons on 24 February 2020.

Section 172 of the Licensing Act 2003 allows the Secretary of State for the Home Department to make a licensing hours order (“order”) relaxing opening hours for licensed premises (any premises with a premises licence or a club premises certificate) in England and Wales to mark an occasion of “exceptional international, national or local significance”.

The Government have decided to consult on a proposal to make an order relaxing licensing hours in England and Wales to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day. The proposed order will extend licensed opening hours from 11pm on Saturday 15 August 2020 until 1am the following morning on Sunday 16 August 2020, for premises licensed for the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises and premises licensed for the provision of regulated entertainment.​

An extension to licensing hours to mark this occasion will be subject to a short consultation with selected partners including representatives of licensing authorities, the police, residents’ groups, veterans’ groups, the licensed trade and the Welsh Government. The consultation will ​focus on the scope of the order including the dates, times, geographical extent and licensable activities to which it should apply.