Daft drinks law

ASSUMING that Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt accurately researched his claims on alcohol minimum unit pricing (your report, 22 September), I am at a loss to understand why our parliament still intends to pass the measure into law.

Apparently a mere 30 per cent of drinkers account for 80 per cent of consumption, while the Scottish Government’s own research admits that MUP will not decrease the number of harmful and dangerous drinkers.

If the practice breaches European Union trade laws as claimed – and Bulgaria has already raised an objection with the European Court – there can’t be any point in going further.

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Even if a way is found round that barrier, Scotland would surely face retaliatory action from others, in which respect it should be noted that whisky represents 80 per cent of our food and drink exports.

These practicalities apart, it is not a valid function of government to set retail prices. Formal price control should be exercised through tax levels alone, as is the case with tobacco ­products.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent, East Lothian