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European verdict on minimum alcohol pricing puts ball in Scottish courts

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6990 (Published 29 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6990
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Scotland’s plan to introduce a minimum price for a unit of alcohol may be contrary to European law but can still be introduced if it is considered the most effective way to reduce the harm caused by cheap drinks.

Scotland’s Court of Session will now decide whether minimum pricing, which was approved by the Scottish parliament more than three years ago, can go ahead. It follows a ruling by the European Court of Justice that the measure would restrict trade and would breach European Union law if less restrictive tax measures, such as an increase in …

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