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As the Minister will find out, it is quality rather than quantity that counts when it comes to Scotch whisky. As the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Scotch whisky, I have no doubt that these tariffs will have a hugely negative impact on one of our most important, successful and growing industries. The Scotch whisky industry employs 11,000 people directly. I encourage UK Ministers to do everything they can to resolve this as quickly as possible, because it is in no one’s interests to have a trade war like this, where everybody will almost inevitably end up on the losing side and jobs, confidence and future investment will be affected. I fear that these tariffs will disproportionately impact on the small independent distilleries, of which there are many in my Argyll and Bute constituency and, indeed, across the economically fragile, rural parts of Scotland.
The Minister listed a number of conversations that have been had, but I would like him to clarify what conversations have taken place since Thursday with both the EU and the United States? Is it not the case that a post-Brexit, isolated UK would have much less negotiating power than it currently has as part of one of the world’s largest trade blocs when it comes to fending off someone like Donald Trump?