Edinburgh West MP, Christine Jardine, has questioned the Prime Minister in Parliament over the future of the Scotch whisky duty, and the threat posed to the integrity of the UK by Brexit.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) estimates that the duty freeze on Scotch whisky has brought £500 million pounds of capital investment across Scotland, and increased Government revenue by 9% in the last seven months.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is due to present his budget to Parliament on Monday (29th October), and Ms Jardine is joining her Lib Dem colleagues in calling for a continuation of the duty freeze, especially in the face of new challenges posed by Brexit.
Ms Jardine commented:
“It may have been surprising for Theresa May to hear from someone doing Sober October for MacMillan, but I used the first part of my question today in PMQs to find out whether the Government will continue to protect the Scotch whisky industry for a rise in duty.
“The industry is so important to the economy of not only my constituency, but that of the whole of Scotland.
“I am urging the Prime Minister and her Chancellor to continue the duty freeze on whisky, which is even more vital now given the double threat of Brexit and my sobriety.”
In the second part of her question, the Scottish Lib Dem MP raised concerns that Brexit is threatening the integrity of the United Kingdom itself.
Ms Jardine said:
“Stubborn Brexiteer isolationism could see us faced with a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, and a disconnect from parts of the country, like Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly for remain.
“So I truly believe that the Conservative party’s narrow-minded nationalism poses an existential threat to the United Kingdom.
“The PM needs to wake up and accept that Brexiteer belligerence risks breaking up Britain!”