Whatever your thoughts on alcohol, this piece clearly shows the power of big business to hold up, slow down, or even stop in its tracks policy decisions backed by the public and agreed through a democratic process. As the article suggests, the agreement of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will make this situation even worse.
Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg. Photo: Wikipedia, Creative Commons
An EU court has been considering whether European free trade rules will prevent Scottish plans to reduce alcohol-related harm.
It is now more than three years since action to reduce the consumption of the cheapest super-strength alcoholic drinks was agreed through the democratic process in Scotland. The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) Act 2012 allows for the introduction of a minimum price of 50p (0.68 euro) per unit of alcohol in drinks.
However, this policy has not yet been implemented because Europe’s alcohol barons are seeking to prevent the policy in court. Alcohol lobbyists claim the legislation breaches the UK’s EU treaty obligations because it would restrain trade. This led Scotland’s Court of Session in Edinburgh to refer minimum unit pricing to the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union.
During my policing career, I witnessed…
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