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I fought for minimum alcohol prices in Scotland—here’s why England needs them too

In 2012 the Scottish parliament passed the measure overwhelmingly—but it has been subject to legal challenges ever since. This week, the Supreme Court will give its verdict. A huge amount is at stake

By Kenny MacAskill  

Kenny MacAskill, former Scottish justice secretary. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Archive/PA Images

When I became Scottish Justice Secretary in 2007 it was clear that action was required on alcohol abuse. As sure as night follows day, when too much drink is consumed, misbehaviour and even tragedy can occur. Ten years ago, Scotland had the eighth highest level of alcohol consumption in the world, and almost 1,500 Scots were dying a year because of drink. The economic cost of this as a whole was £3.6bn; the cost of alcohol-related crime was £727m.


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