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17 May 2018

Stevenson Warns of Brexit Risk to Scotch Whisky Exports

Scotch Whisky exports were valued at around £931 million in the first quarter of 2018, over a 6% rise on the same period last year, according to new HMRC figures.

These figures show that Europe continues to be the top export market for Scotch whisky - prompting Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson to warn that the Tory Government must not risk this growth by leaving the single market and customs union.

EU membership gives Scotland’s food and drinks industries access to the world’s biggest single market as well as the EU’s free trade agreements with 50 other countries across the globe. Just last month, the EU secured a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico that will allow many EU exports duty-free access to a market of over 127 million people in Mexico.

Commenting, local MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

"The sharp increase in Scotch whisky exports is good news for Scotland and indeed the whole UK economy.

“The SNP Scottish Government is ambitious to grow the authentic and globally recognised Scotch whisky brand even further, underpinned by the Scotland Food and Drink Export Plan.

“But while the growing success of our food and drinks exports are something to celebrate – they further demonstrate the massive benefits we stand to lose when we leave the European Union.

“Scotch whisky’s top export market is the EU - and the Westminster Government has a duty to safeguard and protect this success and the thousands of jobs it supports by remaining in the single market and customs union, which is around eight times bigger than the UK market alone.”
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