SNP criticises UK over Scotch promotion charges

19th May, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has hit out at the UK Government for allegedly charging Scottish organisations to promote Scotch whisky in UK embassies.


SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has criticised the UK Government for allegedly charging organisations to promote Scotch whisky is UK embassies

On 17 May, World Whisky Day, the SNP, Scotland’s ruling party which campaigns for Scottish independence from the UK, issued a statement criticising the charges.

The party said despite the fact Scottish taxpayers contribute towards Foreign Office hospitality, companies are charged for promoting Scotch whisky in UK embassies, while other UK trade and investment groups are allowed to use the facilities for free.

“Scottish taxpayers are being double-charged by the Foreign Office to promote one of the UK’s biggest exports,” said SNP Westminster leader and Moray MP Angus Robertson. “Scotland’s whisky industry has been going from strength to strength – but with little thanks to the UK Government.”

The party claimed investment and trade promotion group Scottish Development International paid £3000 for each reception it held in UK embassies to promote Scotch whisky.

This revelation follows UK foreign secretary William Hague’s claim that organisations would be charged for promoting Scotch whisky if Scotland votes in favour of becoming independent during a referendum to take place later this year.

However, the SNP claimed that this is already the case.

“Scottish Development International has done fantastic work to promote Scottish trade and investment worldwide, but the charges they have faced by UK embassies is an example of how Scotland is losing out because of decisions made at Westminster,” added Robertson.

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