Thursday, 18 October 2012

Hitting The Buffers

In one of those moments that makes your jaw drop (not) Scotland has had to abandon its flagship health measures of minimum pricing on alcohol. Despite the continuous hyperbole from the media and MPs on the benefits of such a scheme, the fact it's against EU law has largely gone unreported except by a few lowly bloggers.

But against EU law it most certainly is:
PLANS to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol in Scotland have been postponed indefinitely by ministers as a result of a growing legal challenge to the controversial move.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it will not be 
introducing the new law until legal action brought against it by drinks producers has been settled.

The decision means that the proposal, which was due to come into force in the spring of next year, has now been put on hold, with no date now available on when it could come in. Similar legal action taken by tobacco firms against a ban on promotional displays of cigarettes is still ongoing, and has now held up new laws by nearly two years already.

The SNP’s flagship health policy was already hitting difficulties after the European Commission ruled last month that it was opposed to it on the grounds it broke free trade laws. SNP ministers have until the end of the year to try and make their case to EC chiefs and avoid a potentially-damaging legal battle at the European Court of Justice.
Ironically this comes after a recent deal to allow Scotland to have a referendum on independence from the UK. Quite how Alex Salmond believes Scotland will be independent outside the UK whilst remaining members of the EU, when one of its flagship policies has been scuppered by laws made undemocratically elsewhere, is beyond me.

But then at least Scotland is allowed a straight in/out referendum; the rest of us get a fudge of a referendum on the EU which includes the fantasy of renegotiation. The contempt for us is nauseating. Our 'leaders' have hit the buffers.


  1. Yep you're right, and the same laws mean that Cameron cannot tell the energy companies how much to charge so he had to back down on that pretty sharpish.
    I'm totally against a minimum price for alcohol as it's another nanny state measure and an excuse for more taxation. I also like cheap booze and I think the poor need to be able to drown their sorrows.
    So in this case I am not opposed to the EU ruling but the amazing thing is that so many people accept EU membership without knowing what it entails! Even our own puppet-Prime-Minister.
    Now let's see if I can prove I'm not a robot. Hmm. Tricky.

  2. @Julia I don't agree with minimum pricing either for various reasons - in this case it's a case of a broken watch is still right twice a day.

    But this easily understood policy (or not) makes it worth pointing out the fallacy of MPs' words and promises when it's blatantly obvious we're (in someway) ruled from elsewhere

  3. Cameron agreed to the referendum to get it done before the next general election.
    Scots win their own country, labour loses the election.