The UK Supreme Court has ruled that
Scotland can set a minimum price for alcohol, rejecting a challenge by
the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).
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 the measure was a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".
said a 50p-per-unit minimum would help tackle Scotland's "unhealthy
relationship with drink" by raising the price of cheap, high-strength
whisky association had claimed the move was a "restriction on trade"
and there were more effective ways of tackling alcohol misuse.
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. A small number of countries,
including Canada and Russia, have some form of minimum price structure,
according to the Institute for Alcohol Studies. Many others have rules aimed at restricting cheap alcohol sales.
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.
Source: BBC News online- 15 November 2017, All rights acknowledged.