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24-hour binge nonsense With all the chatter about “forcing 24-hour drinking through the Commons” (Michael Portillo), one could be forgiven for thinking that the government was compelling pubs to stay open twice round the clock. In fact, the first two thirds of all applications for the new licences resulted in just 550 applications to serve drink at any time of day or night have been granted in Britain. These include only 160 pubs (out of a total of 55,000) together with 110 hotels, 75 clubs and around 200 supermarkets. That is around 1 per cent of all licensed premises. Another…

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