Euro Parliament Protects Scotch Whisky Bottles

02 February 2006
SNP European Spokesman Alyn Smith MEP has welcomed the decisivebacking of MEPs from across Europe today for the continuation ofstandardised whisky bottle sizes.

European Commission plans to change bottle sizes and potentiallyabolish standard bottle sizes for whisky and other spirits, which would have significantly increased costs for the industry, were rejected by the European Parliament this morning (Thursday). Mr Smith and his SNP colleague Ian Hudghton had been at the forefrontof the Scotch Whisky industry campaign to preserve the status quo.

Welcoming the Parliament's defeat of the proposals Alyn Smith said

"This victory is a great result for Scotland's flagship whiskyindustry, and for the European Parliament.

"I'm delighted that the Parliament has today, again, shown itsability to defend interests of whisky producers across Scotland andthat the uniqueness of Scotch Whisky is continually recognised inEurope.

"Any changes would have put up costs and led to unfair competition - getting rid of standard size whisky bottles would have been bad newsfor the consumer and the producer alike.

"I'm sure whisky producers and even whisky drinkers across Scotlandwill join me in a wee dram in celebration of this success.

"This good news applies to the rest of the spirits industry as well.Now they will not be subject to changes in bottle size and additionalexpense either.

"Scotland accounts for 80% of spirit production in the UK, aside from whisky we are now producing other high value and high qualityspirits, such as gin and vodka that are being well received all overthe world. This decision offers the whole industry a safeguard."