MEP warns of booze pricing impact on trade

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THE SCOTTISH Government has agreed to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol sold in Scotland without due care and consideration for the wider impacts the policy may have on trade within and outwith the European Union, it has been claimed.

Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson is preparing to convene a meeting in Strasbourg to discuss Scotland’s plans for minimum unit pricing of alcohol.

He said: “This policy will inevitably render imported alcoholic products less competitive, thereby breaching EU competition and free movement of goods laws.

“Countries outside Europe who are negotiating free trade agreements with the EU will also certainly point to this legislation within an EU member state and note that it is intrinsically anti-competitive.

“The unintended consequences of this legislation may therefore have serious effects on EU trade.”