25 January 2024

Rules against exporting haggis to US a ‘scandal’, MP tells Commons

25 January 2024

Rules preventing the export of haggis to the United States are a “scandal”, the Commons has heard.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said the Business Secretary should make progress on the issue of exporting the “great chieftain o’ the puddin-race” or risk being known as a “cowrin, tim’rous beastie”.

Mr Carmichael made use of the references to haggis and a mouse from the work of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns as he addressed the House on Thursday – Burns Night.

Haggis has been banned in the US since 1971 because it contains sheep lungs.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) said: “Is it not a scandal that the only way you can get the ‘great chieftain o’ the puddin-race’ exported into the United States is if you send the vegetarian version?

“Is this not something that the Secretary of State could actually put into her 18-point action plan and get on and do something, or does she want to risk forever being known as a ‘cowrin, tim’rous beastie’?”

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch, apparently flummoxed, responded: “I thank (Mr Carmichael) for his very esoteric question.

“What I would say in terms of US-UK trade is that we are continually removing barriers, we are trading more with the US than ever before.

“If he has a specific example which I can help with so he can enjoy his Burns Night, I would appreciate it if he wrote to me and we can look at the matter in detail.”

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