Conservative MEPs intervene to defeat threat to UK spirit industry

02-Mar-2018 @ 09:00

John Procter John Procter

John Procter John Procter

John Procter John Procter

Conservative MEPs intervene to defeat threat to UK spirit industry

An EU attempt to allow a waste product from beer making to be used in whisky and other spirits has been defeated following the intervention of Conservative MEPs.

UK producers feared Scotch whisky's reputation for quality would have been damaged by a rule change enabling alcohol from de-alcoholised beers to be included in spirits. Currently manufacturers must use agricultural raw materials only.

Conservatives demanded a specific vote on the proposal, prompting the European Parliament to throw it out. The change, pushed by German beer makers, was contained in an otherwise technical report and would have been approved had the so-called 'split vote' not been called.

Conservative MEP John Procter, who worked on the issue, said: "This attempt to dump low quality alcohol on the market could have been immensely damaging for British producers.

"While I had no doubt our whisky distillers and makers of other quality spirits would maintain their links with growers, producers elsewhere would have been tempted to use this cheap, waste alcohol and other processed products, tarnishing the reputation of the whole global spirit sector.

"Not surprisingly, the Scotch whisky industry declared itself wholly opposed to the idea and I am proud of the part played by Conservative MEPs in defeating it."

Scotch whisky exports are worth more than £4 billion a year.

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