Minimum pricing legal challenge dismissed

A legal challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other European producers to the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland has been dismissed at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Scotland flagThe challenge by the SWA and European wine and spirit producers was brought in response to the Scottish government’s introduction of a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol.

The case was heard by judge Lord Doherty at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Scotland’s highest civil court. Lord Doherty ruled that the legislation was not outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament, and that it is within the devolved competence and powers of Scottish ministers.

The judgement said: “The court ruled that the Acts of Union were not an impediment to the minimum pricing measures. The court also decided that the measures were not incompatible with EU law.

“It determined that the national authorities retained competence to introduce minimum pricing notwithstanding the fact that there had been a degree of EU common organisation of the market in respect of wine, other fermented products, and agriculturally produced ethyl alcohol. The measures were not prohibited by, nor did they undermine, that Regulation.”

The Scottish Parliament passed the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill last spring and ministers are committed to the policy, which they say will save lives.

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “We welcome today’s favourable opinion from the Court of Session on minimum unit pricing of alcohol.

“We have always believed minimum unit pricing is the right thing to do to tackle Scotland’s problematic relationship with alcohol.

“Minimum unit pricing will target cheap alcohol relative to strength that is favoured by hazardous and harmful drinkers and which contributes to much of the alcohol-related harm we see in Scotland.”

Under the new rules, the ­cheapest bottle of wine would be £4.69 and a four-pack of lager would cost at least £3.52. The SWA has 21 days to appeal the decision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador for Central England

Salcombe Gin
Central England, home office with extensive travel , UK

Director of On-Trade & Prestige

Signium Executive Search
South East England ideally, UK

Brand Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, UK

Regional Account Manager

Scotland, UK

Retail Assistant Manager

The Whisky Exchange

Retail Supervisor

The Whisky Exchange

Retail Sales Advisor

The Whisky Exchange

Retail Manager

Friarwood Fine Wines
SW London, UK

Assistant Manager

Seven Cellars
Brighton, UK

The City Wine Show

London,United Kingdom
13th Apr 2018

Prosecco Springs

London,United Kingdom
26th Apr 2018

Spirits & More

19th May 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more