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Alcohol campaigners welcome preliminary opinion from European Court of Justice

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4756 (Published 04 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4756
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Health campaigners who want a minimum price for alcohol to be introduced in Scotland remain hopeful of success after an important preliminary opinion from the European Court of Justice.

In an analysis of the legality of the move, Yves Bot, advocate general for the European Court of Justice, has concluded that national rules on pricing can be imposed that restrict trade and distort competition but only if they are “appropriate for the attainment of the objective pursued” and superior to alternative measures such as increased taxation.1

Supporters of minimum pricing have welcomed this opinion as showing that minimum unit pricing is not precluded by EU law and can …

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