“Deep concern for Brexit impact on local whisky export industry”:
Visiting Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, local MP Brendan O’Hara, also Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Scotch Whisky, Brendan spoke of the consequences of the UK leaving the
European Union will have on the Scotch Whisky industry.
After a tour around Springbank, Scotland’s oldest family-owned distillery, where he spoke with both
management and staff, Brendan said; “With 14 world-class whisky distilleries in Argyll & Bute, I am deeply worried about what the effect of Scotland being taken out of the European Union, against our will, is likely to have on our whisky industry and the already fragile economy of our constituency.”He added; “Scotch whisky earns £135 per second for the UK exchequer and last year Scotland exported more than £1 billion pounds worth of whisky directly into European Union. Brexit and the loss of the single market with its 500 million potential customers, will undoubtedly have serious consequences for the scotch whisky industry.”
Brendan continued; “Knowing how important EU membership is giving us access to the single market, the people of Argyll & Bute and Scotland voted emphatically to remain in the European Union. Our voice has to be heard and our decision has to be respected; I fully support First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon’s determination to keep Scotland in the European Union”.
Speaking after the meeting Ranald Watson, Springbank’s Sales and marketing manager said;
“The main concern which we have specific to our group of companies, alongside those which we share with the wider whisky industry, relates to our network of Cadenhead Whisky Shops.
We have four shops in the EU at the moment – two in Germany, one in Austria and one in Denmark – which, alongside our three UK shops account for over 50% of William Cadenhead Ltd’s turnover. Anything which makes exporting to EU countries more difficult or more expensive than at present is a major concern for us as 50% of our business is a lot to risk.
Of further concern is the potential impact EU withdrawal could have on visitors to this country. At the moment, visitors from other EU countries account for a huge percentage of the number of people we get through the doors of Springbank Distillery. While we have no doubt that some people will still holiday in Scotland, an EU withdrawal could have a major impact on their spending habits once here if they are restricted in how many bottles of whisky they can take home with them. At a time when we are trying to grow the visitor side of our business we are aghast at the prospect of the number of visitors and their potential spend being reduced, particularly since Scotland was so heavily in favour of remaining in the EU.”