Tuesday 19 November 2013

We'd Prefer To Waste Money, Thanks

Curious news from Scotland.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) will go to the Court of Session next week to urge it to pass the dispute over the proposals to the European Court of Justice for a ­decision. 
The association opposes the plans [for minimum pricing], which would set a 50p per unit floor price on all drink sold in Scotland, saying it will encourage countries around the world to retaliate with tariffs on imports of Scotch.
Well why not? One of the biggest problems for minimum alcohol pricing is that there is a ECJ legal precedent in the form of Commission v France, Austria and Ireland 2010 which ruled minimum pricing is illegal for tobacco products. I think it's fair to say that if Europe's eager baccy bansturbators can't force through a minimum price, alcohol haters are going to have an exponentially tougher battle.

So the SWA is proposing skipping all the expensive Scottish legal fannying around and going straight to that pivotal question earlier rather than later.
The two sides are now locked in a legal dispute at the Court of Session, with reports yesterday suggesting that it could take until 2017 for the matter to reach a resolution. 
A spokeswoman for the SWA said last night that it expected the case to be referred up to the ­European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, no matter what the Scottish courts conclude. 
She said that resolution of the case could be speeded up if the Scottish Government agreed to ask the Court of Session to send it there now.
Makes perfect sense. Especially since Health Sec Alex Neil agrees that the dispute will inevitably end up being fought in Strasbourg but is confident that the European Court is going to be a cakewalk.
Mr Neil said: "If we end up in the European Court, which I think at the end of the day may well happen, we believe if it does end up in the European Court we will win hands down."
So why not just get on with it then?

It seems that, in order to foster the perception that Scotland is a real country, they're just going to tie up Scottish courts wasting Scottish taxpayers' money for the next three or four years instead of saving cash with a quick yes or no from those with real power in Europe.

Says a lot about the SNP, that.


Peem Birrell said...

No what it is is that a European Court of Justice decision is lose-lose for the SNP. If the judgment goes against minimum pricing they look like a bunch of arrogant ignorant lying pricks (as usual). If the judgment is for minimum pricing then they'll have to put up the price of drink just before the referendum which won't help the vote much.

DaveAtherton20 said...

This the the advice the SNP got from the Scottish Law Society on minimum pricing 2010-11. Not taking a blind bit of notice.


Furor Teutonicus said...

XX A spokeswoman for the SWA said last night that it expected the case to
be referred up to the ­European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, no
matter what the Scottish courts conclude. XX

Sais all we need to know about the fascist republic of E.U really.

"You WILL obey, even if you vote against it!"

DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

We'd Prefer To Waste [Taxpayers'] Money, Thanks

It's what governments do: waste taxpayers' time, waste taxpayers' money (the same thing since money is time) and generally abuse them in all sorts of interesting and profitable ways.

Strange thing is, most taxpayers seem to like it.