A row has broken out over whether English towns should promote cheap booze to Scots when a minimum price per unit is introduced north of the border next year.
Members of the Labour group on Northumberland County Council suggested the authority might miss out on a "golden opportunity" by not setting aside cash to entice Scottish drinkers with an advertising campaign.
Earlier this year the Scottish Parliament agreed on plans to set a minimum price per unit of alcohol at 50p, which should come into force in April. The move was intended to reduce the effects of binge-drinking.
A knock-on effect could see people head to England on booze cruises, and the potential of a bonanza for those retailers ready to meet the demand.
Northumberland County Council's Labour group economic spokeswoman Susan Davey said: "By not setting aside an adequate advertising budget to promote travel and shopping in Northumberland to the Scots, the county may miss out on this golden opportunity.
"Shops in Berwick, Alnwick and Morpeth with easy access to the A1 should be preparing to accept a huge increase in trade but I expect, without an advertising campaign, Carlisle with its easy motorway access will win this race."
The statement was slammed by Alnwick's Conservative county councillor, Gordon Castle.
"We want to promote Alnwick, we want Scottish tourists, but we don't want booze tourists," he said. "It's so bizarre, I didn't think they were serious. As responsible councillors, we are supposed to be promoting the town for its visitor attractions."
Mr Castle thought any cross-border increase in alcohol sales would benefit national supermarkets, not local independent stores.
"Frankly, the supermarkets are doing very nicely anyway," he said. "This is not going to help our high street."