Clampdown on off-licences (The Sun 21 February 2005)
EU health chiefs are drawing up plans to close thousands of British off-licences… The proposal is said to be part of a drive to curb alcohol abuse across Europe. Other measures include a Monday to Friday ban on off-sales and huge booze price hikes through tax rises. A blueprint masterminded by EU health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou also contains moves to control sales through a state-run monopoly…
EU’s crazy bid to bar weekday sales (Daily Star 21 February 2005)
Supermarkets and off licences will only be allowed to sell booze at weekends under secret plans by barmy Brussels bureaucrats. A leaked document reveals EU chiefs want to ban take-away sales of alcohol from Monday-Friday in an over-the-top clampdown on binge drinking. They also plan to raise the tax on drink sold in pubs.
The EU has no plans, nor secret documents proposing to clamp down on off licenses by closing them or banning Monday-Friday sales. The EU does not have, nor does it seek, the power to propose such measures which are a matter for national governments. At the request of all EU health ministers, including the UK’s, the EU is looking into ways to reduce the harm caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, particularly among young people. The document referred to in these articles is a working paper, not adopted by the Commission, which seeks to draw views from the drinks industry and European countries (including the UK) on possible ways to combat excessive drinking. It contains a review of measures in place in different member states.