My SNP colleagues and I want to ensure that Scotland’s markets are competitive and fair to consumers and I believe it is vital that Scotland’s vibrant food and drink sector continues to be so. The pub sector in Scotland is fundamentally different to England and Wales. Of the 4,900 pubs in Scotland, 64% are independent free trade pubs with just 17% being tied leased & tenanted pubs. This compares to 43% independent free trade and 39% tied leased & tenanted in England and Wales.
The SNP Scottish Government are developing a competition policy that identifies where a lack of competition may be putting Scottish consumers or businesses at a disadvantage. At the same time, the SNP recognise that competition in itself may not be the best tool for ensuring markets work well, so we aim to strike the right balance between competition and regulation. The SNP Scottish Government are supporting competition and fairness by ensuring our policies do not adversely affect competition in markets, working with the Competition and Markets Authority to ensure competition issues affecting Scottish markets are raised at a UK level.
Rest assured, that my SNP colleagues will scrutinise any decisions taken by the UK Government which will affect consumer choice in Scotland. We will continue to advocate our vision that markets are competitive and fair to consumers.