29th March 2017 marks the historic day in British history as Prime Minister Theresa May sends a letter to European President Donald Tusk triggering Article 50 and our leaving of the European Union, known as Brexit. A large topic for debate with many left wondering just where this will leave UK and the businesses within it. One company who, after a recent event involving Switzerland, now have serious doubts about leaving the EU is Mobile Bar Hire based in Dartford, Kent.

The portable bar providers were asked on Monday 20th March to deliver a bar counter to Switzerland for Thursday 23rd. A mean feat for many businesses but Mobile Bar Hire are well use to providing bars on the continent and began organising the install.

However, the business came across a problem – Switzerland are not part of the EU Free Trade agreement meaning the SME would need to pay over £600 for an accelerated ATA Carnet, a document that allows goods to enter the country. This unforeseen costing was forwarded to the client who themselves were surprised at the additional documentation required when importing from the UK.

Mobile Bar Hire’s Directors called the Swiss High Commission in London and Swiss Customs in Switzerland on several occasions to try and rectify the issue but to no avail.

What will Brexit mean for Mobile Bar Hire?
What will Brexit mean for Mobile Bar Hire?

Due to the increased costings incurred, Mobile Bar Hire were not able to provide the service for one of their largest clients whom had to source bar counters within Switzerland to overcome this ATA Carnet issue.

This has left the bar providers worrying for their future expansion as they have recently provided bars in France, Italy and Latvia and are concerned that leaving the EU will force European clients to source equipment from within their own countries due to what may well be increased costs for Mobile Bar Hire to import goods.

Mobile Bar Hire Director Ragbhir Sandhu said, ‘Having expanded our European coverage greatly in the past few years, this incident with Swiss documentation which has lost us a large contract is very concerning. We are likely to have the same border type as Switzerland when it comes to trade at the end of the two-year negotiations of Brexit and if we are being charged to import goods to Europe, we will either have to absorb the cost and lose margin or have to pass it onto clients who may well look elsewhere. Although I have every confidence in the Prime Minister, I sincerely hope that she and her team can obtain the best deal possible to ensure British business can boom inside and outside of our borders.’

What are your thoughts on Brexit? Let us know here.

17th March marks St Patrick’s Day, the time of the year everyone embraces their inner Irish! Good Morning Britain celebrated on ITV this morning by Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard enjoying a pint of Guinness live on air! The Guinness bar, keg and equipment were provided by Bexley based Mobile Bar Hire Ltd.

The portable bar providers were contacted by ITV on the 16th March in the late afternoon and asked if the set up could be carried out that night – a task that was taken by Mobile Bar Hire and executed within just a few hours of the phone call.

The Guinness bar was provided by Mobile Bar Hire
The Guinness bar was provided by Mobile Bar Hire

The bar was adorned in Irish memorabilia such as shamrocks and was cited as ‘Eamonn’s Bar’, named after the Irish presenter Eamonn Holmes. A runner was asked to pour the Irish tipple with Kate and Ben enjoying the taste live on tele.

This is not the first time that Mobile Bar Hire have worked with ITV having previously provided equipment for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Let’s Do Lunch With Gino and Mel. The Kent bar providers have also worked with the One Show on BBC.

Ben and Kate enjoyed the Guinness on air.
Ben and Kate enjoyed the Guinness on air.

Did you watch Good Morning Britain this St Patrick’s Day? Let us know your best Guinness moments here.

Pubs were provided a helping hand by the Chancellor Philip Hammond in yesterday’s Spring Budget. British pubs are closing at over 20 a week throughout the country due to high rates and duty but pub rates are set to be reduced by £1000 for establishments with a rateable value of less than £100,000.

The rateable value of a pub is calculation based on the rental value of the space which will see 90% of British pub rates subsidised by the scheme.

However, many landlords are seeing this as a double ended sword as beer, cider and certain spirits have seen a hike in duty:

  • Duty on a 750ml bottle of wine increases by 8p to £2.16
  • Duty on a 750ml bottle of sparkling increases by 10p to £2.77
  • Duty on a 750ml bottle of fortified wine increases by 11p to £2.89
  • Duty on a 70cl bottle of vodka at 37.5% increases by 28p to £7.54
  • Duty on a litre bottle of vodka at 37.5% increases by 40p to £10.78
  • Duty on a 70cl bottle of Gin at 40% increases by 30p to £8.05
  • Duty on a litre bottle of Gin at 40% increases by 43p to £11.50
Pub rates subsidised but alcohol duty increased by Philip Hammond
Pub rates subsidised but alcohol duty increased by Philip Hammond

So, whilst pub rates have been subsidised for smaller establishments, their beer duty has been increased which could potentially seriously affect brewery-tied pubs which have a small profit margin. Beer duty has been raised by 2p a pint for the first time in 5 years.

“UK beer drinkers, pubs and brewers have been let down by the Chancellor’s decision to increase beer duty for the first time in five years,” said Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s national chairman.

If you think help with pub rates are a positive but increase in alcohol duty a negative, please let us know here.