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This is why the British are better than us

britpub.jpgA great number of states have now enacted bans against smoking in bars. Those who like to damage their lungs while also damaging their livers hate these bans, of course, and many bar owners themselves would rather not be forced to prohibit smoking. Yet the vast majority of the bar owners take these laws sitting down. Well a similar ban goes into effect in England this week, but one pub is most decidedly not letting things just happen.

Bob Beech is trying to have his pub, the Welling Arms, declared to be on “foreign soil,” thereby exempting it from the cigarette ban (and also exempting it from the British VAT tax, meaning he could serve cheaper drinks!). Earlier this month, he got his pub named as the official British consulate for Redonda, a teeny-tiny little Caribbean island a bit south of Antigua (and we’re talking real tiny, like one mile square tiny). Now he wants to upgrade the pub’s status to a full-fledged embassy, which would mean it is “foreign soil” for the purpose of British laws.

If Beech is successful, this would make his pub the only one in all of Britain where folks could burn a “fag” while enjoying an ale. However, a spokesman for the Foreign Office says that Redonda isn’t a separate country, but is simply territory belonging to Antigua and Barbuda, meaning it’s not entitled to an embassy. So it seems that Beech may have his work cut out for him. But you just have to applaud his intent and ingenuity.

And as a bonus to this story, check out this little bit about the current “King of Redonda:”

The title of “King of Redonda” is hotly disputed, with at least nine known claimants, but the current ruler is King Robert the Bald, who was crowned in 1998 and lives on Antigua.
The 60-year-old Canadian, whose real name is Bob Williamson, writes novels at his Antigua home from where he sails his 72ft yacht St Peter.
On May 31, 1998 Mr Williamson sailed to Redonda with Mr Elder and 60 others and was formally declared to be King Robert the Bald.

King Robert the Bald? That rules (no pun intended).

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Comments

So would you have to bring your passport if you wanted to have a drink there?