Brexit can't even get Scotch whisky out of US-EU trade dispute – Scotsman comment

There have been many claims made about the benefits of Brexit, but so far hard, tangible evidence has been thin on the ground.

Americans now have to pay 25 per cent more for Scotch single malt (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)
Americans now have to pay 25 per cent more for Scotch single malt (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

Now it seems that even though the UK has left the European Union, it is still involved in its trade disputes.

In October last year, the US won approval from the World Trade Organisation to impose tariffs on EU goods in retaliation for subsidies given by the bloc to planemaker Airbus.

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As part of that, imports of single malt from Scotland to the US were hit with a whopping 25 per cent tariff. And they still are, even though the UK left the EU in January.

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No wonder the Scotch Whisky Association is complaining that the UK Government has been “inexplicably slow” in raising the issue with the US, let alone actually sorting it out.

Apparently, the UK needs to settle its share of the dispute with the US but has been unable to do so to date. The looming presidential election may lead to further delays with Donald Trump’s focus firmly on the campaign. And if Joe Biden wins next month, he and his team will have a host of decisions to make and a list of Trump actions to undo.

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All this hardly bodes well for the talks on a much-needed trade deal with our other half in the so-called ‘Special Relationship’.

The suspicion, of course, is that the relationship is not as special anymore, at least for one party. And, given our recent divorce from the UK, that sounds like bad news for the lonely old bachelor that Brexit Britain is shaping up to be.

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Joy Yates

Editorial Director



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