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Berwick-on-Tweed plagued by booze cruises

There is more trouble ahead for Berwick-on-Tweed as the Scottish government has again raised the minimum price of alcohol.

As prices in Scotland rise, there are more and more trips across the border to England to pick up booze on the cheap. While the minimum price for a bottle of wine in Scotland is now £6.09, you can pick up a bottle of Three Peasants Artisanal British Wine for a modest £1.99 – and get a free pack of aspirin thrown in for free.

Shop rents in Berwick are rising as more and more off licences are opening – the town now has an offie for every 42 residents. One of the outlets is a drive through – you can order by phone and pick up your plonk in less than 30 minutes. Local people also complain that local favourites like Newkie Brown are being crowded out by shelf after shelf of Buckfast Fortified Wine and 90 Shilling Bitter.

Every Friday evening there is a long line of vans, coaches and pick up trucks on the A1, heading south into Berwick to pick up supplies for the weekend. And on Saturday and Sunday mornings the local A&E is full of Scots who couldn’t wait to get home before getting stuck in.

The local council is planning to ask Westminster for powers to levy its own alcohol tax. A spokesman said 'We don’t want to stop the Scots from coming south. We just want to persuade them to drive to Newcastle for their cheap drink instead.'

The chief executive of Three Peasants has asked us to clarify that 'artisanal' is one word and not two. The fact that his first name is Arti is, he says, just a coincidence.

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