First it was chlorinated chickens – now there are fears of an influx of sub-standard whisky if the UK strikes a trade deal with the US after Brexit.
Politicians in Scotland are so worried they have written to the UK Government calling for a legal definition of the spirit to be enshrined into law.
The Scotch whisky industry is worth £4bn to Scotland and it is protected from sub-standard products by an EU definition of whisky – but this will change after our European divorce.
Scottish economy secretary Keith Brown said: “Aside from being a key part of Scottish culture and identity, our whisky industry supports around 20,000 jobs.
“The US made clear in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership discussions that they would support a relaxation of the definition of whisky, which would open the market up to a number of products which do not currently meet that standard.
“Whisky is a product which is worth around £4bn to Scotland in exports.
“It is vital that we continue to have robust legal protection of Scotch whisky, which is why I have sought clarification from the UK Government as to whether Scotch whisky featured in discussions during last week’s trade visit (to the US) by the Secretary of State for International Trade.
“I am also demanding that the current EU regulations are guaranteed post-Brexit.”
Under the EU’s definition, all whisky produced or sold in the EU must, among other things, be matured for at least three years.
A spokesman for the UK Government said: “Scotch is a UK export success story and we will support the industry so that it continues to thrive and prosper post-Brexit.
“The UK Government has a strong relationship with the Scotch Whisky Association and is working closely with the industry as we aim to secure the best possible deal for the whole of the UK.”