Acknowledging that Brexit will be challenging for the industry, the association said it wants to continue to be able to export Scotch whisky to Europe and the rest of the world, with minimum additional cost and complexity.
|Scotch Whisky Association calls for zero tariffs ahead of Brexit|
The annual gathering which is held in Edinburgh, heard speeches from Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, as well John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland.
The Scotch Whisky Association, is now calling for zero tariffs, a minimum of regulatory divergence and legal protection in the EU, and also continued access to the benefits of EU trade deals with third countries, including South Korea and Colombia. The loss of the trade benefits would cost the industry over £50 million annually in tariffs alone.
Speaking at the conference, Karen Betts, said: "Scotch Whisky is doing well, with exports growing and new investment going into all aspects of the industry. In the twelve months since our last conference, 7 new Scotch Whisky distilleries have opened and, over the last 5 years, more than half a billion pounds has been invested in the industry, in everything from distilling to tourism. This is great news for growth in our sector and for the jobs and communities that the industry supports.”
She went onto say: "We continue to urge the UK government to swiftly put in place agreements with those third countries so that Scotch can continue to flourish there post-Brexit. And to work on advantageous trade deals with our growth markets, such as India, China and Brazil to ensure the sector continues to prosper."
Last year, 39 bottles of Scotch whisky per second were shipped overseas totalling an export value of £4.37bn. Scotch whisky is the UK's largest food and drink export, and now accounts for 20% of all food and drink exports.
Posted by Steve Rush