Welsh Government - Delay to 2020 for minimum unit pricing of alcohol.
On 29th May Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services published an update on the Welsh Governments proposals for a policy of minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol.
In February, the Welsh Government issued a written statement following a 3 month public consultation of their intention to lay draft regulations before the National Assembly with the view of introducing a 50p MUP later in 2019.
In accordance with Technical Standards and Regulations Directive 2015/1535/EU, the Welsh Government subsequently referred the draft regulations to the EU Commission, which was followed by a 3 month standstill period, during which the Welsh Government could not lay the draft regulations.
During this period a EU Member State submitted a detailed opinion in respect of the draft regulations which requires a response from the National Government. As a result of the opinion the standstill period has been extended by an additional 3 months, which means that the standstill period has been extended to 21 August.
Following this additional delay, the AM estimates that the earliest draft regulations will be laid before the National Assembly for Wales will be Autumn this year. If passed by the National Assembly, the introduction of a minimum pricing regime would be unlikely to come into before early 2020.