MSPs will today Wednesday 10 November vote on stage 3 of the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament.

In advance of the debate, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

“It’s no coincidence that, as alcohol has become more affordable, consumption has increased and, along with it, the levels of alcohol-fuelled harm and violence. It’s got to stop. Scotland cannot afford – in either economic or human terms – to dismiss one of the most effective interventions we can put in place.

“That’s why I believe that minimum pricing is a policy whose time has come. There’s strong and growing support for minimum pricing – from experts at home and abroad as well as, increasingly, the general public. Indeed, I think it’s now universally acknowledged that pricing must be addressed.

“That’s why I’m calling on MSPs to be bold and do the right thing when the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill comes before parliament for its final vote. We won’t save lives by refusing point blank to be guided by expert opinion, modelling and evidence, or by asking the UK Government to take action instead. We have the power to make a difference for Scotland now – let’s not squander that opportunity.”