Scottish govt. looks to Scotch in wake of Brexit

19th July, 2016 by Kristiane Sherry

Member of Scottish Parliament Fergus Ewing has said his government is looking to work closely with the Scotch whisky sector as it “pursues all options” to remain in the European Union.

Fergus Ewing MSP has met with the SWA following the UK's Brexit vote

Fergus Ewing MSP has met with the SWA following the UK’s Brexit vote

David Frost, SWA chief executive, and Ewing MSP, cabinet secretary rural economy and connectivity, met this month to discuss the challenges and opportunities brought about by the Brexit vote on 23 June.

“We remain focused on pursuing all available options to keep Scotland in the EU, and that means working closely with vital industries like the whisky sector to ensure that we seek to protect their and Scotland’s interests,” said Ewing.

“We are looking to develop a regular dialogue with the industry to find solutions and answers as we navigate this uncharted territory.”

Frost added: “We had a very worthwhile meeting with cabinet secretary Fergus Ewing. I welcome the Scottish Government’s intention to consult consistently with the Scotch whisky industry, so that we can both work to support the wider economy and sustain jobs during this uncertain period.

“Such dialogue is particularly important as Brexit negotiations begin, so I am glad we agreed to meet on a regular basis.”

Scotch whisky plays a vital role in rural communities across Scotland, says the SWA. Distilleries are a source of jobs, and are strongly aligned to tourism activities in rural economies.

According to the SWA, more than 7,000 people are employed in the Scotch industry in rural communities. However the trade association has noted that more can be done to support the rural economy and boost the industry, so collaboration with the Scottish government is necessary.

 

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