Drinks industry set for legal battle over Scotland’s minimum alcohol price
Scotch Whisky Association could mount European Court challenge
A DRINKS group was today set to step up its campaign against minimum pricing for booze.
The Scotch Whisky Association was expected to announce its intention to take its case to the European Court of Justice, if necessary.
MSPs have approved a new law for minimum pricing of alcohol which would see the price of some brands rise.
And Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has urged the drinks industry to respect the Holyrood decision, which will see cut-price drinks banned with the introduction of a 50p floor price for each unit of alcohol.
The measure would mean the cheapest bottle of wine will cost £4.50, while supermarket vodka and whisky will sell for £13.13 and £14 respectively. Scottish hospital intensive care departments found a quarter of admissions were alcohol-related, according to a recent report.
And the Scottish Government claims that after 10 years the new legislation will result in 300 fewer deaths a year, 6,500 fewer hospital admissions and save the country £942 million in harm reduction.
Legal challenges had been expected after Scotland agreed in May to a minimum drink price plan, which is expected to be introduced next April.
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