Multiple pub operators and publicans overwhelmingly oppose plans to scrap personal licences, according to a survey of BII members.

The survey found that 91% believed removing the personal licence would harm the trade’s professional reputation, and 89% agreed that it could harm the potential for the trade to grow into a position of improved standards, better compliance and perhaps, in time, self-regulation.

In addition, 95% agreed that there’s a need for a personal licence and the learning process people go through to achieve it.

In total 82% of multiple operators surveyed said they would not welcome the potential under the plan to see different rules applied to operators “not just by postcode, but potentially by street”.

Tim Hulme, BII chief executive, said: “It’s central to our reason for being that we represent the voice of our members, hence asking these very specific questions about the potential for a change in the system. As I’ve said before, I’m supportive of reducing red-tape, but never at the cost of the professionalism of our industry. I firmly believe that the current system helps us promote high standards and forms a vital part of the pathway to better compliance.”

Earlier this month industry groups including the BII, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, wrote a joint letter to crime prevention minister Norman Baker urging the Government to retain personal licences. The Institute of Licensing, representing c2,500 licensing professionals including council and police representatives, have also expressed concerns.”