An invasion of booze cruisers from north of the border could be on the way after Scotland passed a minimum price for alcohol.
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon finally implemented a minimum 50p per unit price after it was delayed for six years by a legal challenge, led by the Scotch Whisky Association.
Ms Sturgeon said: Scotland is the first country in the world that is and Im sure that as the benefits of this policy start to be seen well see other countries elsewhere doing exactly that.
All of the evidence says that minimum unit pricing will reduce deaths from alcohol-related illnesses, reduce hospital admissions and generally reduce the damage that alcohol misuse does to our society.
On average there are 22 alcohol-specific deaths every week and 697 hospital admissions in Scotland, where the misuse of alcohol is thought to cost the country £3.6 billion each year.
The move sparked complaints about over-charging for alcohol and a slew of expectations there would be booze runs south of the border for cheaper drinks.
Major Murmer on Twitter complained: The idea that problem drinkers will now switch to blueberry smoothies is b*****s of the highest order.
Theyll find a way, trust me. Losers to include: Kids at the fringes Scottish retailers Winners: English booze cruise retailers just over the border.
English alcohol distributors must be rubbing their hands awaiting the booze-cruise influx from north of the border. SMH https://t.co/AE6smmr2MQ
— A N T I T R U S T (@theGled) May 1, 2018
Scotlands chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: As a nation we drink 40% more than the low risk drinking guidelines of 14 units per week for men and women.
Prior to the implementation of minimum unit pricing, those 14 units could be bought for just £2.52. This is absolutely unacceptable.
That is where this new legislation comes in, and I am confident that over the first five years of its operation, minimum unit pricing will reduce the number of alcohol-specific deaths by hundreds, and hospital admissions by thousands.