Brexit Boom – Badenoch slashes red tape on Scottish whisky exports

James Cleverly: Foreign Secretary talks global trade deals

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International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch secured an end to trade barriers with several African and South American nations.

Tariffs on whisky sales to Argentina have been cut by 15 percent, a 49 percent levy on spirits sold to Morocco has been axed and planned taxes on sales to Angola were cancelled.

Ms Badenoch, who celebrated with a visit to the Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian, said: “Every week we remove a trade barrier somewhere around the world. From whisky in Argentina to gin in Angola, we’re slashing red tape and opening access to new markets and new customers.

“With these trade obstacles gone and more to follow, my message to UK businesses is clear – make the most of the huge global appetite for your fantastic products and sell to the world.”

Scotch whisky exports grew by 19 percent to reach a total value of £4.51 billion last year.

Ms Badenoch said Brexit allowed the UK Government to have its own place at the negotiating table for trade as the European Union often did not offer what was needed.

She said: “This is something that would previously have been done by the EU and quite often we didn’t get what was needed. Now we’re able to control a lot more of our trade policy – so it is excellent news.”

Ms Badenoch is still pushing to secure a full free trade deal with India later this month despite upset in New Delhi over remarks by Home Secretary Suella Braverman after she said Indian migrants are the largest group that overstay in the UK.

Mark Kent, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Securing a deal with India to reduce the 150 percent tariff on Scotch Whisky is the industry’s top international trade priority. 

“We want to see a deal agreed, but not any deal. To deliver for the industry, any agreement must open up the market to more Scotch Whisky producers, which will in turn generate hundreds of new jobs across the UK, hundreds of millions of pounds of additional exports, and boost investment and revenue in India. 

“The ongoing negotiations are a once in a generation chance to give more Scottish distillers the opportunity to do business in India. That is the scale of the prize on offer.”

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