Statement: Alcohol Research UK disappointed with Scotch Whisky Association’s decision to challenge ruling on minimum unit pricing for alcohol

Alcohol Research UK today (18 November) announced its disappointment with the decision by the Scotch Whisky Association to challenge the Scottish Court of Session’s ruling on minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol.

Dr James Nicholls, Director of Research and Policy Development at Alcohol Research UK, said:

“We are disappointed that the Scotch Whisky Association is creating further delay to the implementation of minimum unit pricing in Scotland.

“The policy was recently ruled to be legal by the Scottish Court of Session, following an appeal to the European Court of Justice.

“We believe that, having been agreed by the Scottish Parliament and accepted in principle by both national and European courts, the Scotch Whisky Association should now drop its legal challenge and allow minimum unit pricing for alcohol to be introduced in Scotland.

“The policy will be carefully monitored and is subject to a sunset clause after which it will be reviewed.  We support this evidence-based approach and call for the policy to be allowed to take its course without further hindrance.”

MUP was approved by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, but has been delayed due to a protracted legal challenge led by the Scotch Whisky Association.

The Scottish Court of Session’s decision that MUP for alcohol is legal recognises the potential benefits that it can bring across the population and that the policy is especially well-targeted at those drinking at the most harmful levels.