A SCOTTISH MP has urged an expert panel to bring clarity to the dispute between the Scottish and UK governments over the controversial deposit return scheme.

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine has asked the Office for the Internal Market (OIM) Panel to intervene in the increasingly fraught cross-border row. 

Humza Yousaf last week paused the launch of the drinks container recycling scheme from August to March, blaming Westminster for failing to sign it off. 

However the scheme, which would add a 20p refundable deposit to bottles and cans, was also rewritten after concerns from business.

Green minister Lorna Slater accused London of dragging its feet over granting the scheme an exemption under the Internal Market Act, which aims to harmonise UK-wide trade.

However the UK Government said Ms Slater hadn’t asked for one until March, something she hotly disputes.

Ms Jardine has now written to OIM panel chair Murdoch MacLennan to assess the process for a dispute resolution.

She said the LibDems had always backed a deposit return scheme to cut waste, but the Scottish Government’s proposed version was “unworkable”, was “agitating Scottish businesses” and was causing “an impasse” between London and Edinburgh.

She cited an opinion from Aidan O’Neill KC warning the scheme could create an unlawful trade barrier with the rest of the UK and leave Scotland-based producers at a disadvantage.

She said: “It is in the best interests of everyone to have a scheme system that works. This includes ensuring that Scottish retailers and producers in Scotland, particularly those that are small and medium sized, are not at a competitive disadvantage.

“That is why I have written to the independent Office for the Internal Market to provide assurances over the process for a dispute resolution mechanism. 

“It is in all of our interests to find a solution.”