Smith Hails National Kilt "Clan Gathering" As First Step To EU Protection For The Kilt

23 September 2008
SNP Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has today (Tuesday) welcomed the gathering in Perth of numerous kilt manufacturers in Perth today with the intention of agreeing what actually constitutes a Scottish kilt.

Smith has been campaigning at EU level for EU protection for Scotland's national garment, but the lack of a common accepted definition of what a kilt actually is has left the bid in stasis.

Speaking from Brussels Smith said:

"The announcement that kilt makers from across Scotland are meeting in Perth at a summit to discuss setting national standards for Kilt making is music to my ears.

"This meeting is the first step towards protecting the integrity and reputation of kilt making in Scotland.

"For too long now we have seen cheap, poorly made, foreign knock-offs being passed off as kilts and it annoys me intensely, the things are not fit to be dishcloths. They undermine a market built on quality materials and first class tailoring. Scotland's tartan industry as a whole contributes some 4000 jobs and GBP350 million to the economy so it is worth protecting, and where there are EU means to do this we first need to ensure we can agree amongst ourselves on what a kilt actually is.

"Having done that there is European support available, and the European Commission has proposed an ‘origin marking scheme' which would work a treat for protecting the kilt. However many EU member states, including the UK have been unwilling to adopt this proposal so far.

"I'm delighted to see the industry in Scotland coming together and will do all I can to support them protect what's ours."