Minimum unit price in Scotland

Napthens - November 23rd 2017

Back in 2012 the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 received Royal Assent, but since then there has been an ongoing court battle to decide if the proposed measures breached European Union Law.

The matter was appealed to the European Court of Justice and in December 2015 they confirmed that a minimum unit price could be legal as long as there were no other mechanisms that could achieve the same outcome. It was then referred back to Scotland’s Court of Session and in 2016 they determined that minimum unit pricing was permitted. Again this was appealed and heard by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and subsequently confirmation came through on Wednesday 15 November that the appeal was dismissed.

The recent decision will mean a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland will be applied, and it is anticipated to be 50p per unit, the hope amongst supporters being that such a measure will assist in breaking Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink”.