The government has said it will forge ahead with plans to implement strip stamp labels on spirits despite calls from the Scottish Parliament that an alternative should be found.
The revolt north of the border follows continued disquiet from the industry over fears that the system will be costly and fail to prevent fraud.
However, a motion passed by MSPs calling on Chancellor Gordon Brown to find another method to stop fraud has fallen on deaf ears. A Treasury spokesman confirmed: “We are pressing ahead with strip stamps”.
Reaffirming the government’s commitment to bringing in the measure, John Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth, South Yorkshire, who worked closely on this year’s Budget, told a Commons debate: “The Scottish Executive and people in Scotland who have a very active interest in the issue, recognise and understand that they have no responsibility to protect public revenues and no duty to act to stamp out fraud - that is a matter for the UK government.”
He added: “Faced with fraud on such a scale, it is our duty to act, and we will act.”
Campbell Evans, director of government affairs at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Despite widespread disaffection the reality remains that the Treasury is minded towards strip stamps.”