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Alcohol abuse in Scotland

While we wait to hear from the Court of Session in the case brought by the Scotch Whisky Association and others against the Scottish Government to challenge the Alcohol Minimum Pricing (Scotland) Act, the Scottish Government has sent a briefing paper to EU Member States. Click here for paper
The paper tackles head on the objection that minimum unit pricing is a disproportionate market interference because it cannot deliver anything that could not be achieved by a blanket increase in excise duty.  It argues that minimum unit pricing is a sophisticated tool, carefully targeted at problem drinkers in a way not achievable by a blanket increase.  
While the Scottish Government battles on, the campaign by Suffolk Constabulary to persuade off-licensees not to sell super-strength drinks continues, apparently without legal hindrance. Click here to read more 
In response to the campaign various off-licensees have voluntarily removed super-strength alcohol products from their shelves. There has been no public comment by the Office of Fair Trading or the European Commission on whether removal of these products from availability is a concerted practice by the retailers that has an anti-competitive effect and, if it is, how it escapes the prohibitions in the Competition Act 1998 (section 2) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (article 101).

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