The First Minister comments on today’s opinion from the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice on the proposals for minimum unit pricing of alcohol
Commenting on today's opinion from the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice on the Scottish Government's proposals for minimum unit pricing of alcohol, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
"We welcome this opinion, in which the Advocate General confirms that minimum unit pricing is not precluded by EU law, but sets out tests that the national court has to apply.
"Importantly, this initial opinion indicates it will be for the domestic courts to take a final decision on minimum unit pricing. The Advocate General finds that the policy can be implemented if it is shown to be the most effective public health measure available.
"As such, the legal process is ongoing and we await a final response from the European Court of Justice, before the case returns to the Scottish courts.
"While we must await the final outcome of this legal process, the Scottish Government remains certain that minimum unit pricing is the right measure for Scotland to reduce the harm that cheap, high-strength alcohol causes our communities. In recent weeks statistics have shown that alcohol related deaths are rising again and that consumption may be rising again after a period of decline. We believe minimum unit pricing would save hundreds of lives in coming years and we will continue to vigorously make the case for this policy."