D-Day for SNP’s minimum booze price policy
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.’