No deal on Brexit may spell no Guinness: MP

A pint of Guinness
A pint of Guinness

Pubs could run out of Guinness following Brexit, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable has said.

He warned an extreme scenario could lead to the supply “drying up”.

The MP was speaking after he and party colleague, Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine, met executives from drinks firm Diageo in Edinburgh.

The firm – one of the world’s biggest alcoholic drinks producers whose brands include Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Baileys – stressed its products would still be available regardless of the Brexit outcome.

He said: “It’s a global business, it depends on having frictionless borders. Anything that screws up their trade is a problem for them.

“There are some specific issues, the supply chains in Ireland, for example, go across the Irish frontier – you’ve got whiskey going one way and cream going the other to make Baileys.

“If the Irish border is a problem then they have a serious problem as a company.” You can envisage a situation in which Guinness and Baileys, which are the two brands which are the most affected, are seriously disrupted.

“In an extreme scenario, where there is no deal or a very bad deal, you could see these favourite products drying up.”

He said there is widening cross-political backing for a so-called People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, which his party is campaigning for.

A Diageo spokesman said: “We’ve made it clear that a frictionless border in Ireland is the best outcome for every business large and small. Regardless of the outcome, rest assured we will ensure Guinness, the world’s favourite stout, is available to be enjoyed throughout the UK and Ireland for decades to come.”