THE “Stan and Ollie of Scottish politics” are the only two Scots on the Board of Trade which, according to an SNP MP, who has said it has no “Scotland the Brand” voices at its quarterly meetings or to regularly drive forward Scottish exports.

Douglas Chapman, who represents Dunfermline and West Fife, said the omission emerged from a parliamentary question he asked on the board’s membership, answered by International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox.

Chapman said: “No wonder we cannot get any traction with the UK Trade Department when there is no-one on the Board of Trade really pushing Scotland’s produce and unique export potential.

“It would appear the UK’s ‘Great’ campaign is relatively ineffective, and the Sunday National published the revelation last week that as part of Liam Fox’s multi-million campaign they chose not to promote Scotch whisky on a billboard in Ottawa in Canada. Scotland has the lion’s share of the whisky market with over 300 brands relying on its promotion as a high quality Scottish product.”

Chapman said whisky is a Scottish brand and should be marketed as such, claiming that in other sectors the UK strategy seemed to be to “airbrush Scotland out of our well established markets”.

He added: “I was shocked to learn that the two most recognisable Scots names on the Board of Trade’s membership list were David Mundell MP and former Labour Minister Brian Wilson. I doubt if many Scottish exporters will be sleeping easy knowing that the Stan and Ollie of Scottish politics are our two ‘ambassadors’.

“Why aren’t Scottish Government represented? That would be a much more respectful and joined up way of boosting our economy and despite the obvious weaknesses of being in this Union, would at least try to move us to a win-win situation. Since 2015, our exports have created a Scottish trade surplus of some £15 billion. The rest of the UK has run a massive trade deficit of almost £500bn over the same period.”

A Department for International Trade spokesman said: “Since it was reconvened in 2017, the Board of Trade

has been pivotal in driving the UK Government’s ambitious export and investment strategies. By meeting in every part of the UK, it guarantees all

parts of the Union have a chance to raise the issues most important to them.

“The board met in Stirling last summer, where the International Trade Secretary, who is also president of the Board of Trade, launched the high potential opportunities scheme to attract foreign investment into all parts of the UK and recognised six Scottish companies with Board of Trade Awards for their exceptional international trading performance.”