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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
22 May 2023
Alister Jack denies UK Government could pay out compensation should DRS be scrapped

Alister Jack | Alamy

Alister Jack denies UK Government could pay out compensation should DRS be scrapped

Alister Jack has rejected the suggestion that the UK Government would foot the compensation bill for businesses if Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS) is scrapped. 

The Scottish Secretary said it would “have nothing to do with the UK Government” if businesses lose money as a result of the DRS being halted.  

The Scottish Government are awaiting a response from Westminster on whether the scheme will be made exempt from the Internal Market Act – allowing them to proceed with the DRS. But it was revealed last week by circular economy minister Lorna Slater that it could be axed by the end of this month if it is not granted exemption.   

Speaking at the weekend, Humza Yousaf said: "If the UK Government end up pulling the plug on the scheme because they don't give the Internal Market Act exemption, then I wouldn't be surprised at all if companies are asking for compensation. 

"And I think the UK Government would have a real challenge on their hands." 

The first minister’s suggestion was rejected by Jack at the Scottish Affairs Committee.  

He told MPs: “It has absolutely nothing to do with the UK Government. 

"We were formally asked to consider this on 6 March, I have asked for impact assessments, and I haven't seen those yet." 

Jack added: “I have yet to see the workings that could let me take a responsible decision one way or the other on this with any confidence.” 

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Read the most recent article written by Ruaraidh Gilmour - Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance at the Scottish Affairs Committee rescheduled.

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