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The Scotch Whisky industry welcomes the extension of the Article 50 negotiation period to the end of October, removing the immediate threat of a no-deal Brexit and giving more time for consensus to be found.   

It is vital that MPs use this additional time wisely. If politicians’ positions over the next six months are as intractable as they have been over the last two years then we will be back in exactly the same position in October. A lack of agreement in October will pose our industry real challenges because at that point we will be entering our busiest time of year.    

The current uncertainty is making business decisions across the Scotch Whisky industry difficult, and we have spent millions of pounds on no-deal planning. The substantial costs we have incurred is money that could have been spent more productively in continuing to stimulate growth in our industry and in boosting exports.    

We urge politicians to find a way forward, which will involve compromise on all sides. Then we can move on to clarifying the terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU.    

In that future trade partnership, we want to see minimal changes to the costs and processes of exporting to Europe, minimal divergence on regulations, and continued UK influence on trade policy. Whether this can be achieved in or out of a customs union is for negotiators to resolve.


news & commentary

15 November 2018

SWA statement on Withdrawal Agreement

Our industry has consistently called for clarity over what that UK's new relationship with the EU will look like in practice, particularly on the continued protection of geographical indications, customs procedures and future trade policy.

04 September 2018

Karen Betts Speech to Scotsman Food & Drink Conference

The water of life: how Scotland's national drink is confronting new challenges to thrive beyond Brexit

03 May 2018

Scotch Whisky looks for continued growth through Brexit

The Scotch Whisky industry's recent growth must be maintained beyond Brexit, delegates at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) conference heard today.

23 March 2018

Scotch Whisky Association welcomes Brexit transition agreement

The Scotch Whisky Association has set out the priorities for the Scotch Whisky industry as the Brexit transition agreement is set to be approved by EU leaders.

02 March 2018

Comment on PM Brexit speech

"The Prime Minister's speech has taken us closer to the clarity which key industries like Scotch Whisky require if we are to mitigate the risks and harness the opportunities of Brexit.

15 December 2017

SWA comment on Brexit transition

SWA welcomes the clear progress made in the first phase of the Brexit negotiations

03 May 2017

Growing Scotch Whisky in a time of change

29 March 2017

SWA Article 50/Brexit statement

13 March 2017

SWA response to FM speech on independence referendum


01 May 2019

Scotch Whisky Brexit Brief

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.