SNP runner warns Brexit will make Scotland drink sector 'vulnerable'

Scottish politician Calum Kerr has highlighted the impact that Brexit could have on Scotland’s flourishing food and drinks sector.

Last week the Scottish National Party candidate for Berwickshire, visited Tempest Brewery's facilities at Tweedbank in the Scottish borders to discuss the possible implications of Brexit trade negotiations.

Kerr said: “This is the frontline of the Brexit debate. However the Tories try to spin it, trading into the Single Market from outside means tariffs, and it means customs checks; these are barriers to which food and drink exports are particularly vulnerable.”

Tempest Brewery employs 15 staff members and doubled its turnover in 2016, while sending 89% of its exports to the European Single Market. 

The UK will have another general election on June 8 and the food and drink sector accounts for 360,000 jobs in Scotland.

Kerr added: “The choice that we will face on June 8 is between the economic vandalism of a reckless Tory government, or strong SNP MPs from Scotland, committed to maintaining membership of the European Single Market.” 

Annika Meiklejohn, brewery director, explained the importance of Single Market membership to Tempest: “Italy, in particular, is a major destination for our beers. They recognise provenance and quality of our product. Currently, the process of getting the beer there is entirely frictionless.

“This means that Brexit could be an absolute nightmare for us.”