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Alcohol bill loophole

3rd October 2011

An internet loophole is being used to bypass laws banning discounted alcohol promotions in Scotland.

wine1

The law, which will be enforced from this Saturday onwards, will put an end to two-for-one offers.

However Tesco has mailed consumers to say they can still get discounts because of the origin of the cases, which are sent out from a depot in England.

The Alcohol Bill, which was passed in 2010 at Holyrood, wants to stop "irresponsible" alcohol offers and place restrictions on how alcohol is advertised outside shops.

In an email promotion, Tesco said: ''Great news! All orders placed at TescoWine by the case will still qualify for these discounts when applicable as your wine is dispatched to you from our distribution centre in Daventry, England.''

The cases will be driven across the border from England to Scotland. A spokesman for the chain said companies had been flagging up the fact that alcohol would be exempt fromt eh new laws for a while.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Internet sales represent only a very small proportion of the alcohol sold in Scotland, but it is an area that we watch closely to see if further action is necessary."

Labour's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: "We are concerned that, despite reassurances from the SNP government at the time, there still appears to be gaping loopholes in the legislation that are now being exploited by supermarkets." 

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