Challenge to Scottish Government’s 'minimum price per unit' proposal fails
A challenge to the Scottish Government’s proposal to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol has failed, with the Court of Session ruling that the proposed move is within the powers of ministers and is not incompatible with European law.
The Court of Sessions said that “so far as the measures had equivalent effects to quantitative restrictions on imports, they were justified on the grounds of the protection of the life and health of humans”. The statement also added “the Court was satisfied that it was unnecessary and inappropriate to refer any question of EU law to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling”.
The action was brought by the Scotch Whisky Association, the European Spirits Association and Comite European Des Enterprises Vins. Spirits Europe director Paul Skehan has been quoted as saying that he was disappointed by the ruling. He added: “We are confident that, on appeal, the measure will be proven to be illegal and counter to the rules underpinning the Single European market”.
It is therefore unlikely that the ruling from the Court of Sessions will signal an end to the matter.
For more information or advice, please contact Head of Leisure & Licensing, Malcolm Ireland
Malcolm.Ireland@napthens.co.uk or 01254 686211