Minimum pricing for alcohol set to go ahead in Scotland

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Scotland can set a minimum price for alcohol, rejecting a challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association, reports the BBC.

Minimum pricing will affect several licensed drinks categories, including wine and spirits. But not everyone in the trade will be celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision.

Legislation was approved by the Scottish Parliament five years ago but has been tied up in court challenges.

In a unanimous judgment, seven Supreme Court judges said the legislation did not breach European Union law.

The judges ruled that the measure was a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.

Ministers said a 50p-per-unit minimum would help tackle Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink” by raising the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol.

After the Supreme Court verdict, ministers are expected to make Scotland the first country in the world to establish a minimum price per unit of alcohol, possibly early next year.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Tweeted: “Absolutely delighted that minimum pricing has been upheld by the Supreme Court. This has been a long road – and no doubt the policy will continue to have its critics – but it is a bold and necessary move to improve public health.”

The Scotch Whisky Association said it accepted the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Published Date: November 15, 2017
Category: Wholesale Industry News