Health Secretary Alex Neil is making a last-minute attempt to persuade EU health ministers to back his plan for a minimum unit price for alcohol.

Several trade ministers have objected to the Scottish Government's plan to set a 50p price per unit of alcohol on the grounds that it would inhibit trade of their own alcohol products.

The European Commission's consultation on the SNP-administration's proposals closed yesterday and Mr Neil is asking them to back minimum pricing.

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"It's true that their trade ministers have lodged an objection but when you talk to their health ministers you get a different view," he said.

"So, I'm communicating with the health ministers throughout the EU to persuade them to lend their voice within their governments and the EU Commission to our cause."