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MUP court ruling a sad day for the internal market

15 November 2017
by spiritsEUROPE -- last modified 15 November 2017

spiritsEUROPE regrets the UK Supreme Court ruling on MUP, which will distort competition by preventing efficient low-cost producers of alcoholic drinks in other Member States from using that competitive advantage against higher cost producers, without targeting those who drink at harmful levels.


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Joep Stassen, President of spiritsEUROPE said:

"We regret the Supreme Court's ruling on minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland, which we believe is inconsistent with the Court of Justice's ruling in this case and its wider jurisprudence.  We remain convinced there are more appropriate, proportionate and effective responses to tackle harmful use of beer, wine and spirits drinks.  We nevertheless accept that MUP will now be introduced in Scotland, and hope to see an objective assessment of its impact both on the harmful use of alcohol and on the ability of cheaper imports to compete in the Scottish market.

This decision sets an unwelcome precedent for fair competition between alcohol beverage producers and for the proper functioning of the internal market.  The same is true for third country barriers to our European products, resulting in a very negative impact on one of the most valuable agri-food exports of the EU.

We are determined to continue the fight against irresponsible drinking which is a blight upon our society and sector.  Fortunately, there are signs of improvement not only in Scotland, but also in other EU countries. These positive trends only fuel the commitment of our sector to work at local level with all willing parties to increase awareness of the dangers associated with harmful drinking, and to promote responsible attitudes to drinking, especially among those most at risk."

spiritsEUROPE is the representative body for the spirits industry at European level comprising 31 association and 8 multinational members

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