Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon said today that protecting Scotland’s place in Britain and Europe is crucial to securing jobs, after the world’s largest spirits company Diageo warned that whisky exports owe much of their success to EU global trade deals and membership of the single market.
Diageo is Scotland’s top manufacturing exporter thanks to whiskies such as Johnnie Walker, J & B and Talisker. Its intervention follows a submission from the Scotch Whisky Association to the UK government’s EU review which stated: “The SWA firmly believes the UK’s EU membership provides significant benefits in improving trading conditions for Scotch Whisky.”
Commenting, Mr Lyon said:
“We all want to see the Scotch industry to continue to thrive. These interventions from some of the leading lights of our whisky sector show just how crucial access to the UK and EU markets are to the success of the sector.
“It is clear that our place in Britain and the EU provides significant benefits to the scotch whisky trade.
“With the President of the EU Commission saying just this week that it would be ‘difficult, if not impossible’ for an independent Scotland to negotiate EU membership it is becoming clear that that best way to keep Scotland in Europe and protect jobs is to stick with the UK family.
“That is why Liberal Democrats are making the case for Scotland staying in Britain, in Europe – and in work.”