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Liam Fox seeks cut in India's Scotch whisky tariff following Brexit fears

Liam Fox will seek to secure "major reductions" in the tariff against Scotch whisky in India amid concerns Brexit could hit makers of the spirit.

Published: November 3, 2016
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Stuart Donaldson, the SNP MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, pointed out that Scotch whisky currently enjoys no tariff in South Korea as a result of an EU trade deal.

He expressed concerns that Britain would be unable to secure such favourable terms on its own once it has left the EU.

Mr Fox said he recognised the importance of reducing tariffs as he pledged to raise the issue when he travels to India on a trade mission next week.

Mr Donaldson said during international trade questions: "The EU trade deal with South Korea has reduced the tariff on Scotch whisky to zero while whisky imported to Korea from elsewhere faces a tariff of 20 per cent.

"Would the minister agree with the Foreign Secretary's new adviser David Frost, the former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, when he said we are much more likely to get these deals with the weight of the whole of the EU behind us than we are in a negotiation nationally?"

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Mr Fox replied: "This is an area where I take an intense personal interest from long experience and I'm delighted to see David Frost in his new position.

"He was so pleased with our policy he joined the company.

"It is very important we get reductions in tariffs and one of the issues that I'll be raising in India next week is the very high level of tariff against Scotch whisky there to see whether we can make major reductions."

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