Business minister Norman Lamb has hinted that the Government plans to ignore requests from MPs to appoint an independent panel to review the progress of pubco/tenant reform. In January MPs approved a motion calling for the voluntary agreement, brokered between the British Beer & Pub Association and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), to be reviewed by an independent panel. The motion was from Adrian Bailey MP, chairman of the Business, Innovation & Skills Committee (BISC), which has been highly critical of the Government’s decision not to implement statutory regulation. In response to a question in Parliament yesterday, Norman Lamb, the new business minister responsible for overseeing the issue, said: “Any review would simply be used as a vehicle to oppose the Government’s solution — [BISC] and others have made it very clear that they are implacably opposed to self-regulation and would only be satisfied by legislation. “The Government have now committed sufficiently far to the self-regulatory approach that to back-track would prove difficult.” Lamb added: “The Government’s decision not to legislate relied heavily on the fact that the Office of Fair Trading had found in October 2010 that no competition issues affecting consumers existed in the pub market. “There was no good evidence that the ‘beer tie’ — a principal target of campaigners — was causing pubs to close or harming consumer choice. Finally, self-regulation could be introduced much more quickly than any statutory solution.” Pledges made under the agreement included making the industry’s code of practice legally binding, strengthening the framework code of practice and setting up new bodies the Pub Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service and the Pubs Advisory Service. BIS declined to reveal whether it would set up a scrutiny panel when asked by M&C Report. A BIS spokesman said: "The Government has made clear that it believes that a self-regulatory approach provides a robust solution to the problems identified by the BIS select committee, including legally binding codes of practice and an independent conciliation and arbitration service. "Given the strong interest in this area, we are confident that any failings on the part of the industry to follow through on what they have promised will be quickly identified. "We hope that those in all parts of the industry will get behind the changes and give them time to work."