‘Serious issues’ facing Scotch whisky after Leave result

Scotch Whisky Association chief David Frost. Picture: Contributed
Scotch Whisky Association chief David Frost. Picture: Contributed
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The chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) today warned the industry faces “significant uncertainty” following the EU referendum.

David Frost urged the sector to “get behind” the UK government as it tackles the “challenges, and the opportunities” in the wake of the Leave campaign’s victory in last night’s vote.

He said: “The process of leaving the EU will inevitably generate significant uncertainty. Of course, we are confident Scotch whisky will remain the pre-eminent international spirit drink.

“But equally, there are serious issues to resolve in areas of major importance to our industry and which require urgent attention, notably the nature of future trade arrangements with both the single market and the wider world.”

The SWA had previously warned that a Brexit vote could put more than £1 billion of Scotch exports to the single market at risk.

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Frost said: “The government will now need to consult as it prepares its negotiating approach. We look forward to working closely with them on that.

“We urge thoughtful and serious consideration by all parties so that we can secure the best possible continued access to the EU and other export markets on which Scotch Whisky’s success has been built, whilst minimising costs and complexity.”