SCOTTISH distilleries are being forced to swallow the cost of damaging Tory trade deals, the SNP have warned.

The party highlighted mounting costs facing the Scotch whisky sector.

The SNP’s shadow international trade secretary Drew Hendry hit out during Westminster’s International Trade Questions yesterday.

Hendry pointed to the example of Speyside distillery – winner of the best whisky at the World Whisky Awards.

The firm has warned that since Brexit its sales are down by around 20% on margin, cardboard costs are up 12%, glass up by 7%, and they are facing increased shipping costs and delays – with extra paperwork alone adding 33 pence to each case.

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The SNP MP said: “When the Tory government is presented with the reality of the damaging impact of their Brexit policy and proposed trade deals, it spins into Brexit fantasy.

“The proposed UK-Australia trade deal will fail Scotland’s businesses, water down standards and pile further hardship upon our vital industries.

“For example, distilleries have already raised serious concerns to me over the damage being inflicted upon them due to Brexit – with Speyside distillery highlighting the eye-watering costs they now face from paperwork, delays, as well as a drop in sales since Brexit.

“It’s clear that the losses due to Brexit are substantial, and firms are warning that while the UK hypes up the Australia trade deal the reality is that it will not even scratch at their losses.

“Whether it was the Tory government admitting that Scottish fishing was ‘expendable’, its Brexit obsession dragging us out of the world’s largest single market, to betraying our farmers and crofters now – all whilst capitulating on standards and animal welfare – there is no doubt that Scotland’s interests are barely an afterthought in Westminster.

“Only independence can keep Scotland’s economy, interests and businesses safe.”