Leading Article: Time to scotch a taxing myth

Duty-frees are the point of the European Union. If that sounds too Euro-friendly, duty-frees are the point of the North American Free Trade Area. In other words, a customs union evolving into a free trade area entails the abolition of boundary taxation, such as excise duties.

Make no mistake then about what you are hearing from the International Duty Free Confederation as it gears up its campaign on behalf of ferry operators. It wants us to continue paying pounds 12 for a bottle of Scotch in Dover and pounds 9 in Calais so that paying pounds 10.50 on a boat looks like a bargain. It's not. The only real bargain is when, allowing for costs, the Scotch costs much the same in Genoa as it does in Glenfiddich and we can buy as much as we like where we like.