Doctors, MPs and religious leaders welcome Supreme Court judgement on minimum unit pricing

16 November 2017: AHA members have signed a joint letter published in the Daily Telegraph today welcoming the unanimous judgement from the UK Supreme Court that minimum unit pricing can go ahead in Scotland. The full letter text and signatories are below.

Dear Sir,

We welcome yesterday’s judgement from the UK Supreme Court. This has cleared the way for the implementation of alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland and is a victory for both the public’s health and for democracy.

The costly and time consuming legal challenge led by the Scotch Whisky Association has put profits before people’s lives. Thousands of people have died, many from our poorest communities, in the five years the SWA has used its deep pockets to block the implementation of legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The people of Scotland will now be able to benefit from this life saving measure that tackles the cheapest, strongest alcohol favoured by young and dependent drinkers. Minimum unit price will save lives, reduce hospital admissions and cut crime.

England is currently being left behind as Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have committed to introducing MUP. Yet, over 23,500 people in England die each year from alcohol-related causes.

We urge the Westminster Government to take responsibility and prioritise tackling deprivation and health inequalities by introducing MUP without delay.  A failure to do so will cost lives and increase the burden on an already over-stretched medical workforce.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair, Alcohol Health Alliance

Colin Shevills, Director, Balance, the North East Alcohol Office

Katherine Brown, Chief Executive, Institute of Alcohol Studies

Professor Nick Sheron, Head of Clinical Hepatology, University of Southampton

Professor Colin Drummond, Addictions Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Dr Adrian Boyle, Chair of the Quality Emergency Care Committee, Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Dr Zul Mirza, Consultant in Emergency Medicine

Dr Kieran Moriarty, British Society of Gastroenterology

Professor Jane Dacre, President, Royal College of Physicians

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair

Janet Davies, General Secretary and Chief Executive, Royal College of Nursing

Dr Peter Rice, Chair, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems

Dr Eric Carlin, Director, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems

Alison Douglas, Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP

Fiona Bruce MP, Chair of the APPG on Alcohol Harm

Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Alex Cunningham MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Mary Glindon MP

Frank Field MP

Martyn Day MP

Lord Ramsbotham

Liam Byrne MP

Caroline Flint MP

Baroness Hollins 

Sandy Martin MP

The Earl of Listowel 

Lord Rennard 

Baroness Masham of Ilton

Baroness Watkins of Tavistock

Jim Shannon MP

Professor Matthew Cramp, President, British Association for the Study of the Liver

Professor Jonathan Shepherd CBE, Director, Violence Research Group, University of Cardiff

Professor Roger Williams, CBE, Director, Institute of Hepatology London

Professor David Galloway, President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Professor Frank Murray, President, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and Chair, Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland

Dr Richard Piper, Chief Executive, Alcohol Research UK/Alcohol Concern

Professor Linda Bauld, Deputy Director, UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies

Jeremy Swain, Chief Executive, Thames Reach

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health

Dr Andrew Furber, President, Association of Directors of Public Health

Scottish Directors of Public Health Group

Eileen Kaner, Professor of Public Health & Primary Care Research, Newcastle University

Professor Paul Roderick, Professor of Public Health, Southampton University

Professor John Middleton, President of the Faculty of Public Health

Professor Simon Capewell, Vice-President for Policy, Faculty of Public Health

Vivienne Evans OBE, Chief Executive, Adfam

Dr Dominique Florin, Medical Director, Medical Council on Alcohol

Professor Paul Lincoln, CEO, UK Health Forum

Nigel Bongard, Terry Martin and Debby Peirson, Trustees, Alcohelp

Diane Goslar, patient representative of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Justina Murray, Chief Executive, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs

Caroline Moye, Head of World Cancer Research Fund UK

Graham Beech, Chief Executive, Action on Addiction

Rob Poole, Co-Director Centre for Mental Health and Society, Wales

Ron Hogg, Durham Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Durham

Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland

Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner, Northumbria

Jan Larkin, Turning Point

Revd Loraine N Mellor, President of Methodist Conference

Revd Kevin Watson, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly

Mr Alan Yates, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly

Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain

Grant Campbell, CEO Glasgow City Mission 

Dr Tracey Harding, University of Southampton

Sue Pettigrew OBE, Director St Michaels Fellowship