The European Commission yesterday (June 28) dropped long-running legal action against the UK after the Government abandoned a get-tough policy against 'booze cruise' travellers importing cheap alcohol from France.

In the past, not only had UK customs demanded proof that travellers' cargo was for personal use only but in its absence, confiscated their alcohol and sometimes their vehicles. The Commission subsequently took legal action, alleging infringements of EU rights to move excised goods around the EU.

In response, the UK reversed the burden of proof onto their customs teams and stopped systematic confiscations. EU taxation Commissioner László Kovács welcomed the UK's decision and the "balance…between fighting tax evasion and the principles of the EU internal market".