Bootleggers on the Scottish Border
Asda chiefs said there was "nothing to stop" them – and other supermarkets – building new warehouses in northern England and transporting alcohol ordered on the web direct to homes in Scotland.
Asda is the first of the big four supermarkets to break its silence over the SNP plans, announced two weeks ago, which include measures to raise the drinking age in off-sales to 21, and to set a minimum price on all alcohol, with each unit being sold at no less than 35p.
Rob Chester, head of licensing at Asda, said: "There is nothing to stop companies looking at expanding their home shopping network or opening up depots just south of the border and delivering to homes in Scotland."
Paul Kelly, the store's corporate affairs director, added: "The big point here is that these measures will actually hurt the poorest.
"Low income Scottish consumers will pay for this. These plans could create two classes of customer: some who are reliant on the local supermarket because they use cash and others who will get deals over the internet."
He added: "The well-off person in Bearsden will be OK. But a poor family in Dundee will pay. It is about a £10,000 a year person being punished for wanting to have a drink at the end of a week. That is the unintended consequence of what is being proposed."
"Unintended consequence"? I'm not so sure. Nanny always bullies the weakest first.