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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

SPEYSIDE MP'S BREXIT CONCERNS ON WHISKY STATUS

16/12/2016  

PRIME MINISTER FAILS TO PROVIDE ASSURANCES FOR PROTECTED SCOTTISH PRODUCE

Theresa May has failed to provide any assurances for food and drink which has valuable EU legal protections during Prime Minister’s Questions.

In parliament the SNP has called on the Prime Minister to provide details of how the UK government will protect valuable Scottish produce should the UK leave the European Union.

Scotch whisky, as well as other products such as Scotch beef, smoked salmon and Stornoway black pudding currently have ‘Protected Geographical Indicator’ status in the European Union. For Scotch whisky this means it can only be produced in Scotland under set rules.

Previously Scotch Whisky Association Chief Executive David Frost has said that "Geographical Indication status is of great commercial value to the Scotch Whisky industry.”

With it now nearly 6 months since the BREXIT vote in June local SNP MP Angus Robertson says that uncertainty around critical issues like this is hugely concerning.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“The Protected  Geographical Indicator status of Scotch Whisky is clearly very important to Moray, with whisky being our largest export from the region and the whisky sector and supply chain being a massive employer in Moray.  

“The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has failed to give any assurances whatsoever for the whisky sector on this hugely important EU protected status.

“Six months on from the leave vote it is simply not acceptable that the UK Government is unable to give any clarity to our food and drink sector.

“The PGI name scheme awards protected status to goods, ensuring they can only be made in the area indicated on the label, by set methods. The scheme was established to prevent consumers being scammed or misled, and to control the quality of certain culturally significant products.

“Given the quantities of counterfeit whisky being produced in the world it is obvious why schemes like the EU PGI scheme are so important to protect these vital brands and answers are urgently needed from the UK Government on this issue. Protected status is hugely important for Moray and we need a plan from the Prime Minister on how this can be retained for the future.”

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