High taxes and cheap supermarket deals mean 18 pubs are closing every week, a report by campaigners has claimed.
Earlier this year, the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) said the rate of closure had reached 12 a week, but the toll has now soared. A total of 450 pubs across the UK have closed their doors since March.
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition against the beer duty escalator, which means tax is automatically increased by two per cent above inflation. This triggered a debate among MPs, which will take place today.
Camra chief executive Mike Benner said: “With pubs finding it ever harder to maintain consistent footfall at a time when prices are ever increasing, it is only hoped that Parliament will today take the first steps by voting to review punitive taxation policies on Britain's national drink.”