Whisky industry issues call to resist moves to Brexit

The UK's membership of the European Union (EU) will be important for the recovery of Scotch whisky exports which are picking up after a decline in recent years, according to an industry body.

The SWA said continued EU membership would support Scotch exports. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the “uncertain global economy and political uncertainty” has created challenges for whisky exporters.

SWA chief executive David Frost said: “Scotch whisky exports continue to deliver and the fundamentals for future growth are strong. Whilst the last couple of years have been more difficult, the longer-term picture has been one of increased demand, new investment, and premiumisation.

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“Challenges remain, with an uncertain global economy and political uncertainty in some export markets.”

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“Continued EU membership will also help to support whisky exports to the single market and would leave Scotch well-placed to benefit from the lower tariffs and fairer market access that the EU has been able to secure through its negotiation of free trade agreements around the world.”

Exports reached £3.86 billion in customs value in 2015, down 2.4 per cent on last year, but the decline has slowed from the 7 per cent fall seen in 2014.