Monday, September 10, 2007

Pub becomes embassy to beat cigarette ban

Pub becomes embassy to beat cigarette ban (Jul 5,2007)

Landlord Bob Beech is getting round next week's cigarette ban by turning his bar into an embassy for a remote Caribbean island.

He claims the Wellington Arms in Southampton will be the only pub in Britain to allow smoking after Sunday - by becoming the UK base for tiny, uninhabited Redonda.

Earlier this month a senior "attache" to its ruler named it as the UK consulate for the island, which is 35 miles off Antigua.

As an embassy, it would be classed as "foreign soil", allowing smokers a haven - as well as VAT-free cheap drinks, reports The Sun.

The attache who granted consulate status is Redonda's official cardinal Edward Elder - a regular at the pub.

Cardinal Elder, 72, said: "We'll be declaring our credentials to the Queen and will see what happens."

Redonda's ruler is King Robert the Bald, 60, who lives on Antigua.

The Canadian-born novelist, who recently granted a knighthood to landlord Bob, regularly sails his yacht to survey his one-mile square kingdom.

Bob said of beating the fags ban: "I have a legal team looking into the legalities at the moment but I am confident."

The Department of Health admitted: "The smoke-free law will not be enforceable against premises that have diplomatic status."

The full story ( can be found HERE.


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