A House of Lords committee has recommended the government reconsider its decision not to press ahead with implementing minimum alcohol prices.

According to the panel, minimum unit pricing is a highly controversial issue and one that has "sharply divided" opinion.

However, it noted that three years ago, both the Scottish government and the UK government expressed intentions to introduce the measure.

The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 was passed north of the border in June 2012, although the policy has not yet been implemented because of a legal challenge.

Meanwhile, the UK government has opted not to press ahead with introducing minimum unit prices in the rest of the country.

The Lords committee has therefore stated that if the policy ultimately brings health benefits to people in Scotland when it is introduced, the UK government should honour its commitment and "follow suit".

Baroness Prashar, chair of the committee, added that the wider European Union (EU) needs to do more to tackle alcohol-related harm.

She noted that while its previous alcohol strategy had "laudable" goals, the EU missed a "real opportunity to take effective action in combatting alcohol abuse in all member states".

Baroness Prashar acknowledged that manufacturers, retailers and advertisers across Europe have voluntarily taken steps to tackle the harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

However, she insisted that voluntary action alone is "not enough" and said any efforts must be "backed by legislation at EU level". She added that the alcohol industry must "play a constructive role in bringing this about".