Scotland becomes minimum alcohol price trailblazer in bid to boost public health

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Minimum alcohol pricing set to come into force in Scotland

This morning, Justices Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed and Lord Hodge announced their decision that MUP "does not breach European Union law" and is a "proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim".

European wine and spirits producers have lost their long-running legal challenge against minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland after the UK's Supreme Court ruled that the policy should be allowed to stand.

Under the plans a bottle of wine could not be sold for less than £4.69, a four pack of 500ml cans of beer would cost at least £4 and a bottle of whisky would cost at least £14.

"Despite Parliament passing this legislation unopposed five years ago, the Scotch Whisky Association has consistently obstructed it, putting their members' profits over the health of the people of Scotland".

Ms Sturgeon said: 'Absolutely delighted that minimum pricing has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

How much will booze cost under the policy?

Alcohol misuse results in about 670 hospital admissions and 24 deaths a week - with the Scottish Government saying death rates are nearly 1.5 times higher now than they were in the early 1980s. "We are concerned about the availability of strong, cheap alcohol and its correlation with harmful drinking that causes misery across Scotland", it said.

"Minimum unit pricing is effective because it targets the kind of drinking most likely to lead to the greatest harm".

He said: "The Supreme Court's decision today is disappointing, but we should be thankful that the legal action has delayed the implementation of this pernicious policy by five years, thereby saving Scottish drinkers hundreds of millions of pounds".

The Scottish government has prepared for the introduction of a minimum preferred price per unit of 50 pence ($0.66) per unit.

Famous for its whisky, Scotland is now on course to introduce a minimum price for alcohol - possibly as early as next year - following a ruling by the UK Supreme Court in London on Wednesday, November 15.

"Looking ahead, the Scotch Whisky industry will continue to work in partnership with the government and the voluntary sector to promote responsible drinking and to tackle alcohol-related harm".

"We will now look to the Scottish and United Kingdom 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", said Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scottish Whisky Association.

'This is vital in order that the jobs and investment the industry provides in Scotland are not damaged.

"We hope the Scottish and the Welsh Governments will now implement MUP as soon as possible".

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