Scots could trial minimum price

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum price, Scottish national party, Scotland

Scotland: minimum price could be on the way
Scotland: minimum price could be on the way
A controversial minimum price on alcohol scheme could be run in Scotland on a trial basis, the health secretary said.

A controversial minimum price on alcohol scheme could be run in Scotland on a trial basis.

Following yesterday's Alcohol Summit meeting between all major parties, health secretary Nicola Sturgeon, of the ruling Scottish National Party, said it was willing to review the scheme after a period of time.

Sturgeon said all parties agreed that action on price was essential. "In an attempt to reach agreement, I indicated that the Government would be willing to introduce a 'sunset clause' to the minimum price section of the Alcohol Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

"This would have the effect of ensuring that the minimum price policy is reviewed after a set period.

"If minimum pricing proved to be successful the measure would be retained, if not parliament could choose to end minimum pricing.

"Such a measure would allow minimum pricing to be tested and evaluated over time, and I hope would address some of the concerns colleagues have expressed."

However, Sturgeon also stressed that the Scottish Government would consider alternatives.

"We will consider any workable alternatives, and as a result have asked the opposition parties to submit further details on what they have proposed today."

Many legal experts still believe that minimum pricing is illegal under competition and European law.

Related topics: Legislation

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