The Food and Drink Sector

We have been part of the EU for so long, many have forgotten that tariff free trade is a very real benefit to us. Norway charges a tariff as high as 344% for beef steaks for imports coming from countries other than the EU[1]. Food and drink products are Scotland’s highest grossing export (16.8% of exports)[2], and Europe remains the biggest market for that, buying 70% of our food exports.[3]

73% of UK agri-food exports go to other EU member states, which includes 38% of all UK lamb.[4] Maintaining open access to markets is vital considering that the UK imports 40% of its food.[5]

Furthermore, the EU can use its clout as one of the world's major trading blocks to secure advantageous free trade deals, providing further export opportunities, such as to Vietnam and South Korea, and help to protect our quality branded products like Scotch Whisky. 500 million consumers make a better argument for a free trade deal for our global partners than 60 million. Plus, the UK has received £34 million in EU funding in recent years to promote its dairy and quality meat products abroad.[6] 

The EU's geographical indication scheme for food products also gives branded protection to iconic Scottish produce across Europe, from Scotch Beef and Lamb to Arbroath Smokies to Stornoway Black Pudding, giving a real premium to our quality products. 


From the Scottish Whisky Association.[7]