Monday 9 May 2016 12:01 am

Vote Leave uses leaked email to try and scotch claims Brexit would be bad for whisky

Just when you thought the icy relationship between the Remain and Leave campaigns couldn't spill any further onto the rocks, a new tussle over whisky has begun.

Vote Leave, the campaign for a Brexit, has today published a leaked email in which the chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) criticises David Cameron's EU reforms negotiating.

The group has highlighted the email because the SWA has come out in support of the campaign to remain inside the European Union.

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In February, SWA chief executive David Frost said in a statement that the EU's single market and single trade policy are “central” to the success of Scotch whisky. He added: “We believe it's important for the United Kingdom to remain part of the European Union.”

But, according to Vote Leave, a leaked email showed Frost was frustrated with the Prime Minister's EU renegotiation saying it was a “massive missed opportunity”.

Vote Leave also pointed to a previous statement from Frost, when he said: “The existence of the industry does not depend on the EU.”

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Robert Oxley, spokesman for Vote Leave, said: “Pro-EU campaigners are unable to comprehend that our leading exports and industries have prospered because of hard work at home, not because of EU membership.

“In fact, we cannot even harness the biggest growth export markets for Scotch whisky because we’ve handed control over our trade deals to the EU which is terrible at negotiating them.”