Scotland has paved the way for minimum unit pricing on alcohol to become a legal requirement.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled against a legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association, meaning retailers will have to sell alcohol at no less than 50p per unit, taking the cost of a bottle of spirits to at least £14.

However, the judgement could be appealed by the drinks industry at the UK Supreme Court in London.

John Lee, head of policy & public affairs at the Scottish Grocers Federation, said the group did not support the proposals.

“We are not convinced that the evidence was strong enough to justify the measure,” he said. “We continue to have strong reservations the overall efficacy of the policy and its potential impact on illicit trade.”