MSP says Drinks industry must now respect Minimum Unit Alcohol Price

Scotland’s Court of Session has given its approval to Scottish Government plans to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol – and Stuart McMillan MSP has called on the drinks industry to work with the Scottish Government to bring forward legislation.

In a landmark ruling today, the court has rejected the legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association, ruling for the second time that the policy is lawful.

Commenting on the court ruling, Stuart McMillan MSP said:

“The Minimum price policy for alcohol was passed by the Scottish Parliament unopposed more than four years ago. I am delighted that the highest court in Scotland has reinforced the initial judgment in our favour from 2013. This is a landmark ruling, and should mark the end of the legal process, allowing this important policy to finally be brought forward.

Stuart McMillan MSP

Mr McMillan further highlighted the need for Scotland to adopt a minimum price policy for alcohol:

“Alcohol in Scotland continues to be sold at pocket money prices. Whilst pubs continue to close and the proportion of alcohol being sold from supermarkets and other off-trade premises has reached record levels. Over two thirds of alcohol is now sold in supermarkets and off-licences across the UK.

“A standard cinema ticket at the Waterfront in Greenock can be bought for £7.50 – this would buy you two 3L bottles of the Frosty Jack’s Cider, containing 45 units of alcohol, with change in your pocket.

“Minimum pricing for alcohol would target the cheap, high strength products drunk by harmful drinkers whilst barely affecting moderate drinkers, and it would leave pub prices untouched. In fact, pubs could benefit from minimum unit pricing, as it would prevent the proliferation of cheap alcohol in our supermarkets.

“Setting a floor price below which alcohol cannot be sold will prevent an estimated 1,600 hospital admissions, 3,500 crimes and save 60 lives in the first year alone.”

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