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Scotch Whisky Association backs Prime Minister’s Brexit deal

The organisation said the deal documents ‘stand up well against the Scotch Whisky industry’s Brexit priorities’.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has given its support to Theresa May’s Brexit deal and warned MPs that rejecting it will create “considerable uncertainty”.

It urged MPs to take its position into account in the critical Commons vote next week.

The industry body published a Brexit briefing, stating: “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.”

The announcement follows leading Scottish businessman Sir Ian Wood saying Theresa May’s deal is “workable” and better than the current situation with Europe.

He also warned against the risks of a no deal Brexit.

Scottish Conservative finance spokesman 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.”

He added the deal “honours the vote of 2016” and allows the UK to leave the EU without the “chaos and misery” likely in a no deal Brexit.

SNP MSP Emma Harper said: “The Tories are offering a completely false choice between a bad deal or a no deal.

“The Prime Minister’s plan will make Scotland poorer, slice £9 billion off our GDP leaving everyone on average £1,600 less well off.

“We should not accept that, especially when neither of these two options can command a majority in Parliament.

“Neither option gives us greater benefits than we currently enjoy in the EU.

“That is particularly the case for key Scottish exports such as food and drink.

“That’s why the SNP wants better options back on the table, either the opportunity to respect Scotland’s decision to remain in the EU through a second referendum, or a Norway-style deal which keeps us in the single market which is eight times larger than the UK alone.”

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