D-Day for SNP’s min­i­mum booze price pol­icy

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Cathy Gor­don

THE UK’s high­est court will today rule on a chal­lenge over plans to use min­i­mum pric­ing for al­co­hol in Scot­land.

Seven Supreme Court jus­tices in London will an­nounce their find­ings af­ter hear­ing ar­gu­ments from the Scotch Whisky As­so­ci­a­tion (SWA) that min­i­mum unit pric­ing is ‘dis­pro­por­tion­ate’ and il­le­gal un­der Euro­pean law.

A lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the SWA said at a hear­ing in July there were bet­ter ways to achieve the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s aim.

Ai­dan O’Neill, QC, added: ‘It is a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion that pric­ing should be used to de­crease al­co­hol con­sump­tion and im­prove pub­lic health.’

The Supreme Court will de­cide whether the Al­co­hol (Min­i­mum Pric­ing) (Scot­land) Act 2012 is in­com­pat­i­ble with Euro­pean Union law and there­fore un­law­ful un­der the terms of the 1998 Scot­land Act.

Health Sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son said: ‘We are look­ing for­ward to the judg­ment of the Supreme Court on min­i­mum unit pric­ing.

‘If it is the pos­i­tive out­come we’ve worked for, we will move as quickly as is prac­ti­ca­ble to put the pol­icy in place.’

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