THE negative impacts of Brexit will pale in comparison to the deposit return scheme (DRS) to be brought in in Scotland, a top Tory minister has claimed.

Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons who lost out in two Tory leadership contests in 2022, hit out at the DRS after she was told that Scots had not voted to leave the EU, or for her party since the 1950s.

SNP MP Gavin Newlands had asked for a debate on democratic deficits, saying: “The people of Scotland haven’t voted Tory since the 1950s, voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and they voted time and time and time again to be allowed to choose their own future.”

In response, Mordaunt brought up the DRS, claiming it was going to be worse than Brexit.

The Tory minister said: “I think this one might be one of the last exchanges we have about Brexit. I think it’s going to be very hard for the SNP to come to this chamber and raise the issue of Brexit ever again.

"Even the most outrageous claims about the supposedly negative impacts of leaving the EU, made by the most fanatical rejoiners, cannot compare to the damage that will be done to the UK’s internal market, to producers and businesses in Scotland, and to the cost of living for the [Newlands’s] constituents by the SNP’s DRS …

“In a few months’ time, it appears the only way you’re going to be able to buy Scottish produce if it is contained in glass or plastic is to come south of the Border.”

The DRS will see shoppers charged an additional 20p on every drink they buy in either a glass or plastic bottle or in a can.

It is set to come into force from August 16, with producers having until the end of February to sign up to the scheme – something they have to do if they wish to sell their products in Scotland.

READ MORE: What is Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme and when will it go live?

Under the Scottish Government proposals, the 20p deposit on cans and bottles will be returned when customers take empty containers back, with Green circular economy minister Lorna Slater saying it would increase recycling rates for such items to 90%.

Mordaunt’s comments come after the Tories in Holyrood raised concerns that an American hedge fund had been put ahead of small businesses in Scotland when it came to the administration of the DRS.

Tory MSP Maurice Golden raised questions about the scheme’s administrator, Circularity Scotland Limited (CSL), saying it had awarded a contract for waste management collections to Biffa – which he said was owned by an American hedge fund.

Golden said that no SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Scotland were invited to bid for the work.