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Scotch Whisky Association backs Brexit deal

The Scotch Whisky Association, one of the country’s most influential industry bodies, has thrown its weight behind Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The organisation said the text “stands up well against the Scotch Whisky industry’s Brexit priorities” and warned against the chaos of a no-deal scenario.

It’s the latest major business group to give support to the deal, which will be voted on by MPs next week.

The SWA stated: “On balance, the draft Withdrawal Agreement and accompanying Political Declaration on the Future UK-EU Relationship stand up well against the Scotch Whisky Industry’s Brexit priorities. The SWA therefore supports approval of the two negotiated texts by the UK and European Parliaments. If the deal is rejected, this will create considerable uncertainty for the industry and greatly increase the potential of a no-deal Brexit in March 2019.”

It comes a day after leading businessman and oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood also gave his backing to the deal.

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said:

“This is another major player in the Scottish economy backing Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

“We now have senior representatives from Scotland’s most important industries – whisky, oil, farming and fishing, among others – saying this now has to happen.

“MPs voting on this now need to consider what’s important here, and who is worth listening to.

“And as for the SNP and Labour, if they troop through the lobby in attempt to force a no-deal scenario, the people of Scotland will simply not forgive them.

“This deal honours the vote of 2016, and means we can leave the EU in an orderly manner without sparking the chaos and misery a no-deal would likely bring.”



Notes to editors:


To see the SWA briefing, visit:


Yesterday, Sir Ian Wood backed the deal:


NFU Scotland backs the deal. A joint statement from the heads of the UK’s four national farmers’ unions said: ‘The draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, while not perfect, will ensure that there are no hard barriers on the day we leave the European Union, and will allow trade in agricultural goods and UK food & drink to continue throughout the transition period largely as before.  This opportunity needs to be taken.’ (NFU Scotland, 20 November 2018, link).


The Scottish Chambers of Commerce back the deal: ‘After two and a half years, business communities across Scotland and the UK, will welcome the Cabinet-backed draft Withdrawal Agreement. Overcoming this first hurdle has been achieved, but this will continue to remain a long journey.’ (Scottish Chambers of Commerce, 14 November 2018, link).


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