UKIP: Legal query on minimum pricing
From the official website:
The legality of the Government's plans to introduce minimum prices for alcohol have been brought into question by it refusal to respond to a very simple question: Are their plans legal under European law?
The question was raised by the UKIP Peer, Lord Willoughby de Broke who asked whether the proposal was compliant with European Union law.
The Government replied that "the legal advice which the Government have received on this issue is subject to legal privilege. We do not, therefore, believe it appropriate to disclose this advice (or any summary of it)."
Lord Willoughby said: "Surely the very basic question about whether a new law is legal or not is something that should be in the public domain?"
He went on to point out that in February the European Commission had made it very clear in February of this year that it did not know whether Scottish proposals to introduce minimum pricing were legal.
"If the Scottish proposals are a legal grey area, what confidences have we that the English and Welsh proposals will be any better?"
"Yet again, he said "we have policy being made in ignorance of how European rules will affect it. The Government obviously are running scared of transparency on this important issue. The whole idea of minimum pricing is contentious as those who will be hit will be the poorest in society."