Stringent restrictions on street selling and advertising in parts of Glasgow are planned so the city can host the delayed Euro 2020 football tournament.
Glasgow is due to be one of 12 host cities for the championship next year after it was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scottish Government said it expects the tournament to go ahead and has proposed legislation banning swathes of outdoor trading and advertising in three parts of the city while it is taking place.
Tournament organisers UEFA insist on trading restrictions “for the protection of commercial rights”, according to Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop.
They will apply in three “zones” in Glasgow – around Hampden Park, George Square and the Merchant City.
Only UEFA-affiliated traders will be able to sell or advertise outdoors in the designated areas, regardless of whether any money is made.
The legislation excludes existing shops, restaurants and pubs, while busking and newspaper sellers are named among the exemptions.
Ms Hyslop told Holyrood’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee the legislation is a “signal” the championship will go ahead and for the council to engage with businesses about potential disruption.
She said: “I believe that the UEFA European Championship (Trading and Advertising) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 strike an appropriate balance between allowing normal business activity to continue as far as possible, while protecting the rights of UEFA and event sponsors.
“When considering these regulations, a proportionate approach was taken to ensure the right balance between minimising any negative impacts on local businesses and allowing them to take advantage of the economic opportunity that the championship represents while protecting the rights of UEFA and event sponsors who have often invested significant funds for the right to be associated with the tournament.”
A Scottish Government assessment suggests the financial impact of the regulations to adhere to UEFA’s requirements “is considered to be minor, especially in relation to the economic opportunity provided by co-hosting the championship”.
It adds: “The regulations will be enforced by enforcement officers and Police Scotland.
“As a result, there will be some costs to Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland.”
The men’s European championship will feature 24 nations – including Scotland and England – competing between June 11 and July 11 next year.
Hampden Park is due to stage three group games – Scotland v Czech Republic on Monday June 14, Croatia v Czech Republic on Friday June 18 and Croatia v Scotland on Tuesday June 22.
England will host Scotland at Wembley on June 18.
Hampden will also host the final round-of-16 knockout match on June 29.
Restrictions in the Hampden Park zone would be in force almost two weeks before the tournament began, applying from May 31 until June 29.
The George Square zone, covering a large area outside Queen Street station, including George Street, West George Street and Cochrane Street, would face restrictions between July 9 and July 11.
On the four occasions when Glasgow is expected to host a match, restrictions will apply on the day and the day before the game in the Merchant City zone – an area incorporating Ingram Street, Bell Street and Wilson Street.
The committee unanimously recommended the Scottish Parliament approve the subordinate legislation when it comes to a vote.
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