Drink crackdown for Scottish supermarkets

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- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minister kenny macaskill, Supermarket, Alcoholic beverage, Scottish government

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Pressure has been ramped up on supermarkets north of the border after the Scottish government passed new rules preventing retailers from selling drink away from the main display.

"Food matching" promotions such as beer with barbecues or wine with cheese in store will also be outlawed under the new rules - part of justice minister Kenny MacAskill's bid to crackdown on techniques which could encourage binge-drinking.

Despite protests from the CBI and the Scottish Retail Consortium, which argue the moves restrict consumer choice, the justice committee has ruled all alcohol must be displayed in a single area of the premises.

However supermarket giant Asda's fears that the restrictions would cause organisational chaos over Christmas have proved unfounded, as the legislation won't be effective until next February.

The move has been strongly backed by Bruce Ritson, chair of senior medical practitioners' lobby group Scottish Health on Alcohol Problems.

He said the separate display rules would reinforce the message that alcohol is no ordinary commodity.

Related topics: Legislation

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