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The Government Responds to EU Alcohol Strategy


The UK Government has issued a response to the House of Lords report on the EU alcohol strategy, saying it is committed to support the Scottish Government’s attempt to introduce minimum unit pricing, in the face of a legal challenge by the Scotch Whisky Association.

The government is also calling for the EU tax regulations to be adjusted for wine and cider to encourage the production of lower strength products.

“The current rules for wine and cider can create perverse incentives. An adjustment in EU rules to allow greater incentives for lower strength beers is also something that the UK Government is keen to see” the report said.

They agreed that mandatory calorie and nutritional labeling on alcohol would be useful for consumers;

In relation to nutrition, the UK Government has been open to the idea of mandatory EU requirements on energy labelling for alcohol. We believe that this could be useful information for consumers, as alcohol is a significant component of average energy intake in the UK population. We would take a view on any specific proposal from the Commission when it emerges”

The Government also outlined its criticism of the European Commission for not acting on recommendations to strengthen Member State involvement in alcohol policy via the Committee for National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA).

“It recommended that consideration be given to enhancing CNAPA’s work on cross-sector policy issues through greater interaction with other policy areas, including both Commission services and national governments; and it recommended that CNAPA adopt a multi-annual work plan, reporting on its implementation through short annual reports. We are sympathetic to these recommendations and regret that the Commission has not acted on them so far.”

“This is a clear call for greater action from the European Commission to support Member States in protecting the health and wellbeing of their citizens. It is not acceptable that the EU Alcohol Strategy has been left to expire in the face of repeated requests from the European Parliament and Member States. We hope this response from the UK Government will encourage the Commission to move forward in developing a new alcohol strategy as a matter of urgency.” Katherine Brown, Director of IAS (UK) told


Related Article: Will Scotland's Minimum Pricing on Alcohol Plan Go Ahead?


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