Carmichael seeks reassurance for Food and Drink businesses in Northern Isles

Today in the House of Commons, Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael sought reassurance that the Government would support Small and Medium sized businesses in the Food and Drink Sector from the uncertainty in the UK Economy caused by the vote to leave the EU.

Speaking in the House of Commons Mr. Carmichael said:

In the Northern Isles some of our most important exporting businesses are in the very successful food and drink sector. They tell me that it is almost impossible for them to plan for their future until they know what access they will have to EU markets. Will the Minister ensure that their voices are heard in these negotiations, as well as the big boys in financial services and the automotive industries?

Responding Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Margot James said:

Defra Minister George Eustice MP has regular meetings with the Scottish fishing industry and the agricultural sector and across Government there are many discussions with the Scottish Whisky association about how they can continue to build on the strengths of their exports beyond the EU as well as within the Single Market.

Commenting after the question Mr. Carmichael said:

While regularly meeting with the Food and Drink industry is welcome and useful, it is a long way short of the reassurances I sought. The Whisky distilleries are important local businesses but they are all part of big global brands that never struggle to get the ear of government. There are several small local businesses whose business is wholly or mainly based on exports into Europe. They need and deserve more attention than they are currently getting.