LABOUR have said they will use the Scotland Office to “build on the reputation of smoked salmon and whisky” if elected to power at the next General Election.

However, the SNP have dismissed the party’s claim that they will boost Scottish food and drink exports, saying Keir Starmer “sold out promoting Brand Scotland and our world-leading businesses the minute they started backing Brexit”.

In March, Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott published figures which estimated that Brexit was costing Scotland’s salmon industry £100 million a year.

Previously, top whisky distillers have also warned that Brexit has had a significant negative impact on sales

The row between the SNP and Labour comes ahead of a campaign event involving Scottish Labour group leader Anas Sarwar and Blair McDougall, the former Better Together chief who is running for the party in East Renfrewshire.

Sarwar had claimed that a Labour-run Scotland Office under the control of shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray would be “Scotland’s window onto the world”.

“It’s no coincidence that the UK’s biggest food and drink exports both come from Scotland,” he said.

“Brand Scotland – our amazing food and drink, creative industries, and tourism and hospitality – has an immense soft power abroad, while creating jobs at home.

“But the chaotic Tory Government currently squatting in Westminster has failed to capitalise on our homegrown success.

“A Labour government with Scottish Labour MPs at the cabinet table will build on the reputation of smoked salmon and whisky to promote other high-quality products abroad.

“We will use our international links to sell our products to the world while opening the door for customers who want to visit, and ensuring that when tourists do spend money, it ends up in Scottish producers’ pockets.”

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However, the SNP’s economy spokesperson and candidate for Inverness, Skye and West Ross-shire, Drew Hendry MP, said: “The Labour Party sold out promoting Brand Scotland and our world-leading businesses the minute they started backing Brexit – it’s essential to vote SNP to reject Brexit and put the interests of Scotland first.

“Brexit has been disastrous for Scotland’s businesses, but here the SNP Government has been working tirelessly to counteract its impact by building up a network of successful international offices around the world dedicated to promoting Scottish goods and services.

“Time and time again Westminster have tried to silence Scotland’s voice on the international stage and each time the Labour Party have sat by and watched on – only a vote for the SNP on July 4 will ensure that the interests of Scotland are put first.”