Brexit would threaten brand protection for Scotch whisky, warns David Cameron
SCOTCH whisky, Arbroath smokies, Stornoway black pudding, Cornish pasties, and a host of other British products would lose their protected status if the UK left the European Union, David Cameron has claimed.
The Prime Minister’s warning came as Barack Obama arrived in Britain for his last presidential visit when he is expected to give a ringing endorsement to the Remain campaign; much to the annoyance of Brexiteers like Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who has urged him to “butt out”.
The claim about the threat to British foodstuff’s protected status is the latest in a long line of warnings about the potential of Brexit from the annual loss of £4300 per household and an increased terror threat to hundreds of foreign football players losing the right to play in the UK and the cost of chocolate bars rising.
The Brexit threat to foods’ protected status came in an article Mr Cameron penned for the Gloucestershire Citizen when he claimed: “If we leave the EU and our farmers have to operate under World Trade Organisation rules, things would be very different…Protected status enjoyed across Europe by our unique products such as Gloucestershire cider…will be lost.”
The EU’s protected food name scheme highlights 73 regional and traditional foods across the UK whose authenticity and origin is guaranteed.
Under this system, a named food or drink registered at a European level is given legal protection against imitation throughout the Brussels bloc of 28 member states.
Last night, David Frost, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “The EU is a big help in protecting the geographical indication Scotch Whisky.
“The EU sets the rules for the legal protection of Scotch Whisky within Europe and seeks to have it recognised in trade agreements with other countries. This would be put at risk if Britain were to leave the EU,” he added.
However, industry sources suggested the PM had “overstated” the case, noting how the EU could still decide to protect products in countries outwith the EU as is the case currently with Mexican tequila.
Meantime, Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister, made another intervention into the EU debate, saying: “I intend to make the positive, principled, patriotic case with all the passion I can for Britain being part of the European Union.”
In a speech at the Royal Society in London, the Scot said the “Britain I know and love” had made the biggest impact for good on the world, not by walking away but by engaging with our neighbours.
He added: “This is the Britain that on economic energy and environmental reforms, on dealing with tax avoidance and on improving security, should be leading Europe, not leaving it.”