Us Tariffs: Scotch Whisky

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Conor Burns Conor Burns The Minister of State, Department for International Trade 5:19 pm, 7th October 2019

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who is a doughty champion for his constituents and the commercial interests in his constituency. I was aware of the presence of Walkers Shortbread in his constituency and the fact that it exports more than £29 million a year and is a significant local employer. Before coming to the House, I asked for a list of all Members who represent Scottish constituencies and how many distilleries they have in their constituency. I was more than surprised to find that my hon. Friend has a significant number—I think more than 40—in his constituency, which makes the following offer very easy to make: I would be delighted to visit him in his constituency and see some of those distilleries, and perhaps also Walkers Shortbread.

As for what we can do to get this message across, the United States ambassador to the UK, Ambassador Johnson, is known to many of us, and he is known to be very close to President Trump. I encourage all Members across the House to contact the American ambassador and make him aware of the strength of feeling on this subject in this House and across the country.