MUP CJEU ruling

23 Dec 2015

SWA responds to CJEU ruling on MUP

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "We welcome the European Court's ruling. The SWA always said European Union law issues were central to this case, and so it has proved. This settles EU law issues once and for all.

"The Court has confirmed that minimum unit pricing (MUP) is a restriction on trade, and that it is illegal to choose MUP where there are less restrictive ways of achieving the same end.

"The Scottish courts will now reflect on the implications of the ruling and all the evidence, before issuing a final judgement.

"This ruling opens the way to moving the debate on and allowing us to address alcohol misuse with practical measures that actually work. Alcohol-related deaths have fallen by a third over the last decade in Scotland, which suggests we are already on the right path. We remain committed to working closely with the Scottish Government and everyone else with an interest."

Notes to editors

The SWA may have further comments today once it has studied the CJEU's ruling in more detail.

Link to the CJEU new release and full ruling: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2015-12/cp150155en.pdf

Background

The SWA, along with spiritsEUROPE and Comite Vins, took legal action against MUP in 2012. The case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union CJEU) by the Scottish Court in 2014 for a ruling on six questions of EU law. Several Member States - Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria and Poland - raised similar concerns at the CJEU's hearing in May. The Advocate General issued his opinion on 3 September 2015.

With media queries please contact Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of communications on 0131 222 9230 or 07432 605385 or email rgallagher@swa.org.uk or David Williamson, SWA public affairs and communications director on 0131 222 9226 or 07730 496151 or email dwilliamson@swa.org.uk

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