The UK government must urge the Indian government to reduce the 150% tariff on Scotch whisky or face missing out on a “golden opportunity” for Scottish businesses, according to the SNP.
India is currently the world’s largest whisky market however due to high tariffs, Scotland’s whisky only makes up 2% of their market.
The SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson, Drew Hendry MP, believes a slash to current tariffs would grow exports by £1.2bn over the next 5 years, create around 1300 jobs, and mitigate some of the damage imposed on Scotland from Brexit.
Brexit has, to date, cost Scotland’s economy £3.94billion and is projected to cost every person the equivalent of £1,600 in red tape and barriers to trade compared to EU membership.
Further analysis conducted by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) also showed that Scotland’s whisky and salmon exports were down by 11% and 6.4% respectively since 2019.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP said:
“Ever since Boris Johnson signed his botched Brexit agreement, businesses up and down the country have faced unnecessary red tape, dodgy trade deals, skyrocketing tariffs, and all-round misery.
“Scotland’s whisky sector has faced particular hardship with sales plummeting due to increased tariffs – all of which was against the democratic will of the Scottish people.
“There can be no more delaying from this UK government.
“Failure to slash persuade the Indian Government to slash this punitive tariff could see Scottish businesses miss out on a golden opportunity to increase exports and jobs.
“However, for as long as Scotland leaves its key exports in the hands of Westminster, it will always be vulnerable.
“Only with independence can Scotland finally rid itself of this corrupt, outdated Westminster system, take matters into its own hands, and finally regain its EU membership.”