Focus - Minimum alcohol pricing
Ben Cooper reports on the prospects for minimum alcohol pricing in the UK and Europe.
Plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland appear to be faltering, while political support for such a move south of the border appears thin on the ground. With questionable legality under EU law a key stumbling block, Ben Cooper examines the question of minimum pricing in the context of the wider alcohol policy debate in the EU.
Alcoholic drinks firms may face mandatory labelling rules in the UK after a Government report revealed that the industry is failing to abide by a voluntary agreement to warn of the dangers of harmful drinking.
A minimum price on alcoholic drinks in Scotland could cost the Scotch whisky industry up to GBP600m (US$937m), with authorities in key export markets likely to follow Scotland's lead, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has warned.
The head of the UK's Office of Fair Trading has spoken out against minimum pricing, as just-drinks understands from sources that the regulator has objected to a minimum price on alcohol in Scotland.
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