Brexit comment from industry

June 27th, 2016 | Posted in: News

Following the Referendum on the UK leaving the European Union, DRAM asked some of the leading licensed trade suppliers and organisations in Scotland what the result meant for them as businesses:


A Diageo spokesperson said: “We respect the views of the British people  in the EU referendum. As one of the UK’s leading exporters, Diageo remains committed to the long term prosperity of the Scotch whisky industry and will now work closely with our industry bodies to seek clarity on the transition process. It is a priority that the UK continues to benefit from open access to the EU as well as favourable international trade agreements to protect the UK’s important export industries, including Scotch whisky.”


Heineken is a truly international business, and we can work successfully within a huge variety of constitutions and political frameworks. Our business in the UK is strongly focused on UK consumers. Imports and exports are a relatively small proportion of that business and the majority of our supply chain is UK based. Whilst we understand that there will be a period of uncertainty in the country, it is business as usual for us. Our pubs, trade customers and consumers in the UK are central to our business and we are focused on delighting them day in, day out with great cider and beer experiences.

The Scotch Whisky Association

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “Voters have spoken and decided that the UK should leave the European Union. All must now get behind the government as it faces the challenges, and the opportunities, this decision brings. “The process of leaving the EU will inevitably generate significant uncertainty. Of course, we are confident Scotch Whisky will remain the pre-eminent international spirit drink. But equally, there are serious issues to resolve in areas of major importance to our industry and which require urgent attention, notably the nature of future trade arrangements with both the single market and the wider world.
“The government will now need to consult as it prepares its negotiating approach. We look forward to working closely with them on that.  We urge thoughtful and serious consideration by all parties so that we can secure the best possible continued access to the EU and other export markets on which Scotch Whisky’s success has been built, whilst minimising costs and complexity.”

Scottish Tourism Alliance

The STA has remained neutral on the issue of whether or not the UK remains a member of the European Union. As a member association, we acknowledge that the views of our members differ on this issue and it is therefore right that the STA has not expressed a view one way or the other in the lead up to the referendum. However, we have publicised the concerns of the hospitality, leisure and transport industries which have been identified as being the most exposed to the negative economic consequences of a Brexit. We are disappointed that the UK has voted to leave the European Union, despite the overwhelming strength of feeling that Scotland has shown in its wish to remain. The outcome which will undoubtedly present additional challenges to the Scottish tourism industry when we already struggle to remain as competitive as the rest of the world as a destination. One period of uncertainty is now over and we must now look ahead to collaborating with our industry partners and working with Scottish Government and Westminster to secure the best possible trading and economic environment to protect the future of what has been recognised as ‘the most important industry in Scotland’. As the UK government begins the process of extricating the country from the European Union, we will receive further clarity on the unknowns which have caused significant concern for our tourism industry. We must retain our resilience, which our industry is known to do in all economically challenging and uncertain periods and look to working more collaboratively as an industry to build Scottish tourism’s future. The STA has had many positive discussions with the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs over the last month and we look forward to further engagement with Scottish Government around how we can best deliver these quality, authentic, memorable experiences to all who visit Scotland, as we reflect and move on from this event.

William Grant & Sons

In the short to mid-term, William Grant & Sons will not do anything differently from what we do today, as a result of this decision. We will be working with our colleagues at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) to understand any longer term implications for our industry.
All requests for further comment should be directed to the SWA.

British Beer and Pub Association

“It is vital that the Government acts quickly to secure economic stability and protect consumer confidence. We will be vigilant to ensure the Brexit negotiations do not harm our exports abroad and the competitive position of beer and pubs in Britain.”
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive

The British Hospitality Association

“The EU referendum question represented a profound moment for the future of our industry. Hospitality and tourism benefits from a flourishing economy and any level of uncertainty will have an impact. The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is the beginning of a process which could take years.”

“On Monday 27th June the British Hospitality Association is convening its members, industry and political leaders to discuss economic and political ramifications in the short term. We will be framing a plan to ensure that we have a seat at the table on all negotiations including taxation, immigration and regulation.”

“As we go through this process, the BHA will call upon every politician in this country to do all they can to guard the strong reputation that our industry has built representing a hospitable and welcoming country all around the world. Our industry is one of the key drivers of exports, prosperity and the fourth largest employer supporting 4.5 million jobs.”

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the British Hospitality Association

BHA Summit will be held in London on Monday 27th June and participants will include:
William Hague, Baron Hague of Richmond, PC, FRSL, former Foreign Secretary;
Dr Andrew Sentance CBE, senior economist and former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England;
Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport;
Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Welsh Government;
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Scottish Government;
Sir David Norgrove; Chairman, Low Pay Commission;
Sir Howard Bernstein; Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

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DRAM News Team

Editor at DRAM Magazine
DRAM magazine is Scotland’s leading monthly licensed trade magazine. It has been dedicated exclusively to the on-trade in Scotland for the past 23 years. It is independently owned, edited and published in Scotland. The DRAM is innovative, creative and original. First with the news, and the people in the news. Covering all the latest information on pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in Scotland.

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