AN SNP MP has asked the UK Government for assurances that people won’t be left “washing down chlorinated chicken with a glass of American rye” amid fears over the impact of Brexit and US trade tariffs on the Scotch whisky industry.

The question was asked by Kenny MacAskill, who warned that Scotch whisky distilleries in his East Lothian constituency were at risk. A 25% tariff on single malt Scotch whisky exports to the United States was introduced in the autumn.

In response, MacAskill was told that the SNP “shouldn’t chunter, and get behind us”.

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MacAskill said: “Glenkinchie Distillery, in my constituency, is threatened by the tariffs imposed on Scotch whisky by President Donald Trump, given the decision to leave the EU and seek a trade deal with the USA and given threats about changes to the definition of Scotch whisky.

“What assurances can the minister give that we won’t be washing down chlorinated chicken with a glass of American rye?”

International Trade Minister Conor Burns insisted the UK Government is working to persuade the US to remove tariffs that are damaging to the Scotch whisky industry and that it “will stand up for the Scots whisky sector”, and advised members of the SNP against “unwise and unwelcome” attacks on Trump. He said: “I would gently say to the honourable gentleman that, if we are to de-escalate these tariff disputes, attacks on the administration and on the president are unwise and unwelcome.

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“We are working across Government to persuade the United States that these tariffs are damaging to the Scots whisky sector. If the SNP wouldn’t chunter, and get behind us, we might have more chance of removing those tariffs.

“We will seek to stand up for the Scots whisky sector, persuade the United States to remove these tariffs. We will work for the Scots whisky industry. Get behind the Government.”