United Kingdom supreme court rules minimum alcohol pricing is legal

Katrina Barker
Ноября 16, 2017

The price of beer, wine and spirits is set to soar in Scotland as it becomes the first country in the world to impose a minimum price for alcohol.

"Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage to so many families", she said.

"The Supreme Court has supported the decisions of the Lord Ordinary and the First Division of the Court of Session that, on an objective examination of the material before them, the proposed system of minimum pricing is proportionate as required by European Union law", she said.

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Karen Betts responded: "We will now look to the Scottish and United Kingdom governments to support the industry against the negative effects of trade barriers being raised in overseas markets that discriminate against Scotch Whisky as a outcome of minimum pricing, and to argue for fair competition on our behalf".

Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the think-tank The Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 'The Supreme Court's decision today is disappointing, but we should be thankful that the legal action has delayed the implementation of this pernicious policy by five years, thereby saving Scottish drinkers hundreds of millions of pounds.

The ruling brings to an end a five year legal battle which went all the way to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2015.

"For now, Hospitality Ulster will continue to work closely with Government to ensure that minimum pricing is introduced in Northern Ireland as soon as possible and by doing so, help tackle the serious issue of alcohol misuse and abuse".

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"While most people enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation, we believe MUP is a responsible and proportionate measure that will effectively target widespread access to alcohol that is very cheap, relative to its strength".

Alcohol Focus Scotland claimed previous year the maximum recommended weekly intake of drink - 14 units - could be bought for just £2.52 (US$3.27).

She said minimum unit pricing will save the lives of hundreds of Scots and improve the lives of thousands more.

Tom McCusker, Managing Director C&C Group Ireland, commented, "C&C Group plc has been a strong and vocal supporter of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP), as progressive legislation that will promote and encourage a responsible relationship with alcohol in society".

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "We will now look to the Scottish and United Kingdom governments to support the industry against the negative effects of trade barriers being raised in overseas markets that discriminate against Scotch whisky as a outcome of minimum pricing".

'At home, we hope to see an objective assessment of the impact of MUP'.

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