Scotland's New Brexit Worry: Whisky

Minister wants UK to extend EU standards so inferior booze doesn't invade market
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 30, 2017 7:03 AM CDT
Scotland's New Brexit Worry: Whisky
This May 2015 photo shows bottles of scotch whisky on the bar of The Pot Still in Glasgow, Scotland.   (Michelle Locke via AP)

Scotland has found one more thing to fret about as Britain drags it toward a breakup with the European Union: Its precious whisky. Scotland has called for Scotch to be defined in UK law so its vital whisky industry—worth about $5.3 billion in exports—can be protected after Brexit, reports the AP. "Aside from being a key part of Scottish culture and identity, our whisky industry supports around 20,000 jobs," Scottish Economy Secretary Keith Brown has written to officials, per Sky News. A European Union definition of whisky currently protects sales from substandard products—but EU laws will no longer apply to Britain after the country exits the bloc in 2019.

Further, per Brown, "the US made clear in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership discussions that they would support a relaxation of the definition of whisky, which would open the market up to a number of products which do not currently meet that standard. Brown's comments Sunday came after Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox visited the US this week for trade talks. Responds a UK government rep, per the BBC: "Scotch is a UK export success story and we will support the industry so that it continues to thrive and prosper post-Brexit." (Read more Scotland stories.)

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