Two recent judgments handed down by the CJEU show how difficult it can be for a Member State to involve itself in fixing minimum prices for products. Given the ongoing challenge to minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland it is interesting that in both these cases the Court ruled against the fixing of prices, but for very different reasons. Neither case is directly analogous to the Scots alcohol MUP referred to the Court in Case C-333/14, but there are perhaps lessons that can be learnt.
I recently had the pleasure of presenting my thoughts on minimum alcohol pricing and EU law at a Matrix Chambers Seminar on Thursday 4 July. The line up was very impressive, featuring Aidan O’Neill QC, myself, Christopher Brown, and Joanna Buckley. The Seminar was chaired by Jessica Simor QC. It was a fascinating chance to discuss, with both legal professionals and representatives of the drinks industry, the issues surrounding the Scottish Government’s attempt to introduce minimum pricing and the legal response to it.