§ Mr. Whittingdale
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made as to the effect of the single market on sales of beers, wines and spirits from off-licence retail outlets.
§ Sir John Cope
There are many factors other than the single market affecting off-licence sales, in particular a trend towards the purchase of alcoholic drinks at retailers such as supermarkets, which are not covered by the off-licence category in the retail sales inquiry figures produced by the Central Statistical Office. It is therefore not possible to estimate the effects of the single market on the sales of alcohol at off-licences.