UK: Drinks industry seeks regulation compromise
Alcoholic drinks associations in the UK have proposed a new regulatory approach on promotions, following a government consultation on reducing alcohol-related harm.
The proposal, known as "co-regulation", was officially put forward by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) today (14 October), as part of its response to the government consultation across England and Wales.
The move is a tacit acceptance that self-regulation of drinks promotions has not always proved as effective as it should.
However, it is hoped the co-regulatory approach may offer a third path between total self-regulation and some form of mandatory regulation, which just-drinks understands has been given serious consideration by ministers in the last few months.
Most major drinks producers operating in the UK are in support of the co-regulatory approach, insiders have said this week.
Today was the last day for responses of the Westminster government's consultation period, although discussions between ministers, industry and health professionals, as well as legal and economic advisers, are likely to continue for several months.
The WSTA said that co-regulation would work "with the provisions of the  Licensing Act enforced at local level in relation to premises, and products dealt with nationally under a mutually agreed code".
It is thought that ministers initially reacted favourably to the idea, but no decision has been made and important details still need to be ironed out.
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