Scotland fixes a minimum price for unit of alcohol as ‘life saving’ legislation

Author (Person)
Series Details May 2018
Publication Date 02/05/2018
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On the 1st of May 2108, Scotland introduced minimum price for unit of alcohol (MUP - minimum unit pricing). This law was passed in 2012 but it did not come into force until 2018 because of legal challenges.

After a five-year legal battle, Britain’s Supreme Court in November 2017 backed the Scottish government’s move, declining an appeal by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and other industry representatives to strike it down. The British judges unanimously ruled that such pricing is 'a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim' and does not breach European Union law.

The Scottish Government believed this policy could reduce the consumption of alcohol and the health risk which were linked to it. The move was welcomed by the medical profession and health campaigners as the biggest breakthrough in public health since the ban on smoking in public.

Scotland was the first country in the world to implement such rule. Fixing a minimum price was considered to be the most effective way to tackle the cheap, high-strength alcohol, given the increased number of deaths connected to the abuse of it.

Related Links
CNN, 01.05.18: Scotland becomes first country to enforce a minimum alcohol price
EurActiv, 02.05.18: Scotland rolls out minimum alcohol pricing after years of legal blocks
Euronews, 01.05.18: Scotland fixes a minimum price on alcohol in bid to save lives
BBC News, 01.05.18: Scotland ends cheap booze as minimum price starts
Euronews, 01.05.18: Minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland
The Guardian, 27.04.18: Scotland awaits minimum alcohol pricing with mixed emotions
The Guardian, 15.11.17: UK supreme court rules minimum alcohol pricing is legal
Scottish Government: Minimum Unit Pricing

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