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WSTA urges full consultation on minimum unit pricing


prpicbudgetThe WSTA is urging Ministers to ensure a full 12 week consultation on the UK Government’s plans for minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol, as evidence emerges of mounting opposition to the Scottish Government’s proposals in Europe.

The European Commission has joined Spain, Italy, Portugal, France and Bulgaria in lodging detailed formal opinions about the Scottish Government's legislation introducing minimum unit pricing.  Their move ensures that the European Commission complaints process, due to end today, is now extended until the end of the year.

The Commission will now also be obliged to seek a justification by the UK Government of the Scottish legislation.

A consultation on UK Government plans for MUP in England and Wales is due to start in the coming weeks amid suggestions that it might be truncated to finish before Christmas – the busiest time of year for the drinks industry.  The Wine and Spirit Trade Association is urging the Home Secretary to ensure proposed legislation is subject to full and detailed 12 week consultation.

WSTA Chief Executive, Miles Beale said:

"It is now abundantly clear that plans for minimum unit pricing in Scotland have hit a wall of opposition in Europe. Whilst the legality of the Scottish Government's proposals is in question any notion of a short consultation here is totally inappropriate.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

The WSTA is the UK lobbying organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 340 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits.
We campaign to promote the industry’s interests with governments at home and abroad.
We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.


For more information please contact Aileen Keyes:
Tel:         +44 (0) 20 7089 3881
Mob:      +44 (0) 7504 498 656
Email:     [email protected]


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