Alcoholic drinks producers in the UK are in danger of falling for the divide and rule strategy.

It may be one of the oldest tricks in the political handbook, but that is because it has proved too invaluable to be left behind.

This is a message the UK drinks industry should remember as it considers its position on a range of policies currently being trumpeted to tackle excess drinking.

There is growing tension between the on-trade and the off-trade in the UK, with ever larger clumps of mud being thrown from one camp at the other.

Several brewers, in particular, are becoming increasingly vocal about cheap alcoholic drinks in multiple retailers. It is no secret that sections of the pub industry blame the off-trade for the UK's apparent descent into binge-drinking abyss.

But, surely the in-fighting only distracts from the real task at hand?