Scaremongering leaves "a bad taste in the mouth"
Scotland’s booming food and drink industry is the latest key sector of the country’s economy to come under attack from the anti-independence camp's negative campaign.
In a bizarre anti-independence tirade, former Lib Dem candidate Maitland Mackie, owner of 'Mackie's ice cream, was responding to a survey (which he organised, worded and distributed himself), in which over 80 per cent of recipients declined to respond.
Mike MacKenzie MSP, member of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, said:
“The Scottish food and drink industry is booming as never before - experiencing unprecedented growth even during a UK recession. And this success, of course, comes in the full knowledge of the independence referendum that is happening in autumn 2014.
"This discredited survey comes as another embarrassment to the Better Together No camp, who have broken their first campaign promise that they would promote a positive case. Instead, they are resorting to the same old Tory-style negative scaremongering - and no wonder, given that the anti-independence campaign is Tory-led.
"Better Together's negative campaign is already leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
“Next only to the oil and gas industry, food and drink are Scotland’s key economic assets and are leading our exports. To try to turn people off Scotland's massively-popular and quality food and drink products because of the debate on Scotland’s constitutional future really is reaching into the back of the larder.
“Mr Mackie’s ill-advised outburst comes at the silliest of times – at the end of the highly successful Scotland’s Food and Drink fortnight – and the recent news that Scotland’s total food and drink exports to the rest of UK increased by £1.6bn over the period 2007 to 2010, to reach £5.9bn, a fantastic 36% increase.
"Independence will give Scotland an even stronger platform to promote Scottish food and drink - and the reality of the industry's current success during the constitutional debate totally washes away the myths dished up by Mr Mackie.”