The SNP has launched a new incendiary attack on Brexit, and No. 10 has retaliated.
DOWNING STREET has hit back at accusations made by the Scottish National Party that Brexit is costing the whiskey business £5 million per week.
The SNP has warned that the sector has suffered “eye-watering losses” as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. It called Brexit “devastating” and warned that the loss of whiskey exports was having an impact on Scotland’s overall economy.
According to data from the House of Commons library, UK whisky exports to the EU were £105.7 million lower in January-May 2021 than in the same period in 2019.
Exports fell by £135.9 million in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period last year, according to the numbers.
The spread of the Covid variety, which was originally discovered in Kent, resulted in stockpiling just before Christmas.
Extra border procedures implemented by France in an attempt to stem the spread of the mutant strain have been accused for causing export distortions in the months after the UK’s exit from the EU.
Brendan O’Hara, an SNP MP for Argyll and Bute, has blamed the reduction in exports on the UK’s exit from the EU.
“Scotch whisky plays a critical role in the development of Scotland’s food and drink sector and our economy, accounting for 75 percent of the sector, therefore the industry losing £5 million each week is devastating,” he told The Scotsman.
“The triple combination of a Brexit that Scotland did not vote for, the pandemic, and US tariffs – which have now been repealed but not before costing the business at least half a billion pounds – has given a heavy blow to the Scottish whisky sector.
“Overall, the losses to Scotch Whisky exports have been staggering as a result of a Tory Brexit and the UK Government’s failure to act on US tariffs – it is long past time the UK Government made amends.”
Downing Street retaliated by calling the SNP’s assertions “misleading.”
“The impact of the Covid epidemic and limitations across Europe has disrupted commerce and dampened demand, so it is too early to draw solid conclusions about the impacts of our new trading relationship with the EU,” a UK government spokeswoman said.
“According to the most recent export statistics, the value of items sent to the EU in May was greater than the monthly average for 2020.
“We’ll keep going.” “Brinkwire Summary News.”