an article in the Publican's Morning Advertiser, "Three trade bodies - the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the European Spirits Organisation and wine association Comite Vins - have made the petition to the Scottish Court of Session, arguing that minimum pricing could break EU regulations on competition. They said that the Scottish Government has exceeded its powers by pursuing the measure.
"The SWA said it feared ‘copycat’ action by other European countries if
Scotland succeeds in introducing minimum pricing, costing the Scotch whisky
industry £500m in exports. Separately, the SWA has made a formal complaint about the Scottish proposals
to the European Commission (EC).
"The trade group argued that minimum pricing restricts trade between member
states. It also said that because wine is defined as an agricultural product,
setting a minimum price is contrary to EC regulations."
The SNP is, predictably, thoroughly unrepentant and intends to squander taxpayers' money defending a completely misguided plan that will not achieve its stated aims and instead will only penalise the ordinary drinker. I've said before that politicians like simple proposals like this because they give the impression of action without doing much at all about the problems they are meant to address. The cheap option is now going to become a lot more costly as the legal profession prepares to clean up, which it will whichever way the judgment goes; but, as we know, politicians always prefer spending other people's money to losing face. I hope it's only Scottish taxpayers and not the rest of us who get stung for the bill: after all, they voted this shower in.
Checking in On Wylam and Northern Monk
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