Calls for UK law to pro­tect Scotch whisky post-Brexit

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Paul ward

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has called for Scotch to be de­fined in UK law in or­der to pro­tect whisky ex­ports af­ter Brexit.

Scot­land’s Econ­omy Sec­re­tary Keith Brown has writ­ten to UK min­is­ters call­ing for pro­tec­tion of the Scotch whisky in­dus­try, in light of In­ter­na­tional Trade Sec­re­tary Liam Fox’s visit to the US this week.

The in­dus­try is worth around £4 bil­lion to Scot­land in ex­ports and an EU def­i­ni­tion of whisky cur­rently pro­tects sales from sub-stan­dard prod­ucts.

Mr Brown said: “Aside from be­ing a key part of Scot­tish cul­ture and iden­tity, our whisky in­dus­try sup­ports around 20,000 jobs.

“The US made clear in the Transat­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship dis­cus­sions they would sup­port a re­lax­ation of the def­i­ni­tion of whisky, which would open the mar­ket up to a num­ber of prod­ucts which do not cur­rently meet that stan­dard.

“It is vi­tal that we con­tinue to have ro­bust le­gal pro­tec­tion of Scotch whisky, which is why I have sought clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the UK Gov­ern­ment as to whether Scotch whisky fea­tured in dis­cus­sions dur­ing last week’s trade visit by the Trade Sec­re­tary.

“I am also de­mand­ing that the cur­rent EU reg­u­la­tions are guar­an­teed post-Brexit.

“We need to be sure that any fu­ture deals work for Scot­land and are not threat­en­ing the liveli­hoods of our farm­ers and pro­duc­ers.”

The in­dus­try is worth around £4 bil­lion to Scot­land.

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