Scotland to start minimum alcohol-pricing aimed at health improvement

The UK’s highest court ruled unanimously that setting a minimum price would not breach European Union law and that it was “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”

The UK’s highest court ruled unanimously that setting a minimum price would not breach European Union law and that it was “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”

The seven Supreme Court justices unanimously dismissed the appeal brought by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other drinks manufacturers arguing the MUP policy is "disproportionate" and illegal under European law.

The UK supreme court has backed the Scottish government's plans to introduce a minimum price for all alcoholic drinks in a decisive victory for Nicola Sturgeon.

Minimum pricing for alcohol is set to come into force in Scotland after a legal challenge was thrown out.

"Scottish Parliament health secretary Shona Robison welcomed the decision and confirmed she intends to make a statement to Parliament shortly, setting out the Scottish Government's next steps".

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It means that, once implemented, a bottle of red wine at 12.5% abv will cost at least £4.69.

The policy was introduced to combat alcohol-related illness and crime.

While Scotland is free to set its own policy under devolution laws, there has been little sign in recent years that the United Kingdom government in London was seriously considering adopting the policy.

"We will now look to the Scottish and UK 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".

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