Night Time Industries Association Scotland has launched legal action against the Scottish government.
The move comes after weeks of vocal protests from live music bosses, who have warned of "catastrophic" job losses unless the SNP administration changes course.
Night Time Industries Association Scotland represent the interests of countless business across Scotland, and have now served legal papers against their own government.
In a statement, the NTIAS spoke of "an extraordinary sense of disappointment and frustration" as the move went ahead, arguing in favour of a judicial review "challenging the validity of all legal restrictions currently being imposed upon hospitality and night time economy businesses in Scotland".
Calling current support "wholly inadequate" the statement argues that the late-night sector "has been driven to the edge of insolvency by the severe restrictions".
According to the NTIAS, around 39,000 jobs are currently at risk, with the restrictions now out-stripping the support on offer.
The statement reads: "It is therefore the position of the NTIA that the restrictions imposed on hospitality businesses by Scottish Government with regards to capacity, activities and operating hours are no longer justifiable or proportionate and any continued application of such emergency restrictions would now be in breach of Article 1 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which applies in the UK by virtue of the Human Rights Act 1998."
Business owner Tony Cochrane (Club Tropicana, Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Fat Sams Live Dundee, Viennas Paisley, Aura Dundee & Sing City Aberdeen) comments:
Scottish Government’s failure to give the Scottish Nightclub Sector any dates on potential reopening, just a tier system that leaves us the only industry to have forced closure even at level 0 and no clarity on how this system progresses below level 0. Every other sector has a time table to recovery, we have been given nothing.
All financial assistance has stopped and no further offer of funding with months of costs ahead and no income leaving us on the brink of collapse. This frustration of no route map, failure to have constructive dialogue, the threat to our 350 staff’s livelihoods, continued closure, and lack of action to give financial support has led us to having no alternative but to challenge Scottish Government through the legal system.
The SNP government have yet to comment publicly.
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