Scot­tish Sec­re­tary vis­its Is­lay dis­til­leries

The Oban Times - - News -

SCOT­TISH Sec­re­tary David Mun­dell met rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Scotch Whisky As­so­ci­a­tion and Di­a­geo at the Caol Ila dis­tillery on Is­lay yes­ter­day (Thurs­day Au­gust 3) to dis­cuss how the UK gov­ern­ment is hop­ing to re­duce ex­port tar­iffs on Scot­tish pro­duce.

Whisky is worth around £ 5 bil­lion to the UK econ­omy, and ac­counts for three- quar­ters of Scot­land’s to­tal food and drink ex­ports.

The UK gov­ern­ment is hop­ing to en­sure that, as we leave the EU, the in­dus­try is able to tackle tar­iffs and boost over­seas sales.

Mr Mun­dell said: ‘Scotch whisky is a world- class prod­uct, glob­ally recog­nised for its qual­ity and her­itage, and the in­dus­try em­ploys thou­sands of peo­ple in Scot­land and around the rest of the UK.

‘We are de­ter­mined to open up new mar­kets around the world for the very best whisky our dis­tillers have to of­fer and to drive down any tar­iffs they face.

‘By strength­en­ing ties with key part­ners, iden­ti­fy­ing new mar­kets and tack­ling tar­iffs, the UK gov­ern­ment is paving the way towards an even brighter fu­ture for Scot­land’s whisky in­dus­try.’

For whisky, ex­port tar­iffs cur­rently range from zero to more than 150 per cent. The UK gov­ern­ment is look­ing at how fu­ture trade agree­ments could re­duce ex­port tar­iffs for iconic Scot­tish goods such as whisky, smoked sal­mon and gin.

Mr Mun­dell vis­ited the build­ing site of the Ard­na­hoe dis­tillery, set to be the ninth dis­tillery on Is­lay when it opens next year.

Over­look­ing the Sound of Is­lay and Paps of Jura, it is set to bring more jobs to Scot­land’s third big­gest in­dus­try, which al­ready em­ploys more than 7,000 peo­ple in Scot­land’s ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: ‘The Scotch whisky in­dus­try is de­lighted that Mr Mun­dell is vis­it­ing Is­lay.

‘He saw the im­por­tance of the Scotch whisky in­dus­try to Is­lay’s com­mu­ni­ties, and how whisky pro­duc­tion there con­trib­utes more broadly to the Scot­tish and Bri­tish economies.’

David Mun­dell meets Ste­wart, Scott and An­drew Laing at Ard­na­hoe Dis­tillery, on the east coast of Is­lay.

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