Scottish salmon and whisky lead UK exports as MSP calls for single market access

Alys Key
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Scotch Whisky Association Challenges Minimum Alcohol Pricing
Whisky makers have had a good start to the year (Source: Getty)

Scotch whisky exports increased by £79m in the first three months of 2017, while fish and seafood, Scotland's largest food sector, grew by £48m.

The increase means that Scottish salmon and whisky account for one in five (22 per cent) of the UK's food and drink exports, according to the figures compiled by the Scottish government.

Read more: Bright spots in food and drink as UK sees Easter spending slowdown

Overall food and drink exports from Scotland reached a value of £1.2bn in the first quarter, up 11 per cent on the same period last year. The EU remains Scotland’s largest regional export market outside of the UK, with exports growing by £50m.

Read more: British food exports surge to record highs

MSP Fergus Ewing, who is Scotland's secretary for the rural economy, said the figures showed that Scotland must retain access to the single market.

He commented: "The Prime Minister must include the Scottish government at the Brexit negotiating table, with the starting point for any new approach the continued membership of the single market and customs union.”

Read more: Sturgeon to demand a "four nation" approach to Brexit

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