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GMB Scotland Sounds Alarm Over U.S. Threat Of Whisky Tariffs

2nd July 2019

Move shows UK is a ‘sitting duck' in future U S trade negotiations, says union.

GMB Scotland reports Scotch whisky is among the products targeted by the US for a new tariffs provides a troubling look future trade negotiations.

The US has today threatened to impose tariffs on European Union imports worth up to $4bn (£3.2bn), although it is not known when tariffs would be imposed.

In April, the US announced proposed tariffs on $11bn of EU goods.

A report commissioned by GMB Scotland and produced by the Fraser of Allander Institute in April, ‘Brexit and the Sectors of the Scottish Economy', revealed Scotland exports £14.9 billion worth of goods and services to the EU and around 144,000 jobs are linked to demand from the EU for Scottish exports.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary said:"This is a troubling look into the post- Brexit future and towards future trade negotiations with the U.S.

"If anyone thinks the UK economy isn't a sitting duck then they are deluded - there will be no special relationships out there.

"It also exposes the fragility of the Scottish economy, where food and drink, and within it whisky and spirits, is the second biggest export sector.

"It reinforces our previous view that for Scotland there is no Brexit deal better than our current deal as members of the European Union."

Fraser of Allander report

April 2019

On Brexit Cliff Edge, New Report Shows Rise In Jobs And Value Tied To EU Exports Across Scotland.

GMB Scotland has today (Monday 8 April 2019) warned that a new economic report demonstrates that the best Brexit for the Scottish economy would be no Brexit at all.

An updated report, ‘Brexit and the Sectors of the Scottish Economy', commissioned by GMB Scotland and produced by the Fraser of Allander Institute, reveals Scotland exports £14.9 billion worth of goods and services to the EU and around 144,000 jobs are linked to demand from the EU for Scottish exports.

It shows that 9,000 more jobs are tied to that trade since the publication of the Fraser of Allander's initial analysis in November 2017 with increased export value evident in the key sectors of petroleum and food and drink manufacturing.

This comes on the back of official Scottish Government figures published earlier this year which showed that exports to the EU rose by £1.7bn between 2016 and 2017.

Previous FAI economic modelling estimated that Brexit could cost the Scottish economy between 30,000 and 80,000 jobs over the next decade.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: "Let's be clear that for Scotland the best Brexit would be no Brexit at all but in absence of that there needs to be an honest analysis of our future prospects.

"Scotland’s economic and employment interdependence with the EU has actually increased and irrespective of what form the UK’s withdrawal looks like in the final analysis, it will be detrimental to jobs and prosperity across the country.

"These are the hard facts facing Scotland so this week we should not entertain any nonsense from Brexit cheerleaders about ‘taking back control’ or a ‘jobs first Brexit’ - even at the eleventh hour the very least those driving us over the cliff edge can do is tell the truth.

"The price of this political failure will likely be measured in divestment, redundancies and closures across Scotland; a new era of economic and industrial decline that will take hold over the next few years and take a generation from which to recover."

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