§ 11. Dame Jill Knight
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the export earnings of Scotch whisky from the European Community in the current year and each of the previous five years; and if he will make a statement.
§ The following is the information:
§ The value of Scotch whisky exports to other EC countries to the end of November 1992 and for each of the previous five calendar years are:
|1 January to November.|
§ Dame Jill Knight
Does my hon. Friend agree that negotiations on level playing fields and the harmonisation of duties are more likely to succeed if in Britain we treat our products in the same way as products are treated elsewhere on the continent? Is he aware that British Scotch pays nearly three times more in tax than whisky produced in Italy? Does he consider that to be fair? Will he discuss the matter with the Chancellor?
§ Mrs. Ewing
Is the Minister aware that at a time when hon. Members in all parts of the House are arguing strongly for a level playing field, United Distilleries has announced the closure of five distilleries—four malt and one grain—with the loss in Scotland of 831 jobs? Will he consider the matter carefully, not only in connection with the whisky industry but in terms of the knock-on effects for those who grow grain for the distilleries?
§ Madam Speaker
Order. The hon. Member is, as usual, most ingenious, but I remind him that the question relates to Scotch whisky.
§ Mr. Steen
The English Vineyard Association together with the Scotch whisky industry plans to set up a stall on the docks of Calais to sell British alcohol—Scotch whisky and English wine—to English passengers travelling back from France to England so that they can save pounds in duty by buying English products at the French docks. Does he agree that that is quite outrageous?