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Scotch whisky makers tell UK politicians - Avoid no-deal Brexit

Scotch whisky makers tell UK politicians - Avoid no-deal Brexit
FILE PHOTO: Bottles of single malt scotch whisky are pictured in a shop near Lausanne, Switzerland May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse   -   Copyright  DENIS BALIBOUSE(Reuters)
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EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Makers of Scotch whisky, Britain biggest food and drink export, said on Wednesday it was imperative that lawmakers work quickly to avoid crashing out of the European Union without a deal.

With Britain’s parliament deadlocked, business lobbies have urged Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to avoid the chaos expected if Britain abruptly exits the EU with no transition period on March 29.

“It is imperative that the government and parliamentarians work together constructively and quickly to find a way forward which provides clarity for businesses and employees and avoids a no-deal Brexit,” a spokesman for the Scotch Whisky Association said.

Whisky exports were worth 4.5 billion pounds ($5.7 billion)to Britain in 2017, its biggest food and drink export ahead of salmon, chocolate and cheese.

“A no-deal Brexit would damage our industry by forcing cost and complexity into the production and export of Scotch Whisky,” the spokesman said.

($1 = 0.7908 pounds)

(Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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