Brexit could mean pubs run out of Guinness, claims Lib Dem MP

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Stout fears: Diageo said Guinness would still be available in the UK and Ireland, regardless of the Brexit outcome
Stout fears: Diageo said Guinness would still be available in the UK and Ireland, regardless of the Brexit outcome
A no deal or ‘bad deal’ Brexit could mean Guinness supplies will dry up, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham Vince Cable has claimed.

Cable was speaking after he and colleague Christine Jardine met executives from Guinness owner Diageo in Edinburgh and discussed the potential impact of Brexit.

The drinks giant, which owns brands included Guinness, Smirnoff vodka, Baileys and Gordon’s gin, emphasised its products would still be available, regardless of the Brexit result.

Frictionless borders

According to Portsmouth newspaper The News​, Cable said: “[Diageo is] a global business, it depends on having frictionless borders. Anything that screws up the trade is a problem.

“There are some specific issues, the supply chains in Ireland, for example, go across the Irish frontier – you’ve got whisky 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 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.”

Available for decades

He added that any friction at the border that did not stop supplies would result in increased costs. Cable also emphasised the business’s importance to the Scottish and UK economy.

The Lib Dem MP said: “The company is very anxious to avoid anything that closes borders. That’s the key message from the company, not just me.”

A Diageo spokesman reassured customers that whatever the Brexit outcome, Guinness would be available throughout the UK and Ireland for decades to come.

Related topics: Beer

Related news

Show more