Media Release: Three parties, three parliaments to discuss Brexit


TODAY (Friday 30 September), SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) and the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) welcome the opportunity to discuss internationalisation and the impact of Brexit at a roundtable discussion attended by figures from across Scotland’s economic landscape along with Ian Duncan MEP – Conservative MEP for Scotland; Stephen Gethins MP – SNP Europe spokesman; and Lewis Macdonald MSP – deputy convenor of the Europe & External Relations Committee.

Begins a spokesperson: “Whilst the value of Scottish exports has been increasing, we have also seen a decline over the past decade in the number of companies exporting, falling from 20 per cent of companies exporting in 2006/07 to just 12 per cent in 2014, and with 60 per cent of our exports coming from just 100 companies.

“That concentration and export trend must be tackled if we are to access the customers we need to grow our Scottish businesses and strengthen our economy.”

This event will give all attendees the chance to engage positively in a discussion on what challenges Brexit presents to Scottish exports, as well as the opportunities it might open up. It will also consider what role the Scottish Government’s Trade & Investment Strategy can play in the internationalisation of Scottish business.

Ahead of the event SCDI’s head of policy, Gareth Williams, said: “In our policy blueprint, ‘From Fragile to Agile’, SCDI identified the key challenges for the Scottish economy as increasing Productivity, Innovation and Internationalisation, all of which are underpinned by improving Infrastructure to improve our competitiveness.

“We are already home to some leading world-class businesses, but for Scotland’s economy to succeed and grow we need to push for more companies to raise their ambitions across all sectors and geographies.

“By doing that, we will not only improve our competitiveness but increase the attractiveness of trade deals with us.

“This is part of a series of discussions being organised between SCDI and the SWA looking at these key priorities and it is right that this first one should focus on Internationalisation and the impact of Brexit given the importance of our trade links for the ongoing success and future growth of our main industries.

“We are grateful that this discussion has been welcomed by politicians from across the political spectrum and look forward to ongoing engagement on areas of importance to the Scottish economy.”

Chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, David Frost, added: “International trade policy and growing exports has moved to the centre of the political agenda since the Brexit vote.

“As Scotland’s premier export, the Scotch Whisky industry has real expertise in these areas and we are delighted to support an event that provides an opportunity to share views and identify areas for collaboration as we look to encourage greater internationalisation across the Scottish economy.”


Notes to editors:

  • SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) is Scotland’s leading independent economic development organisation working across the public, private and social economy sectors, representing 1,200 organisations including global corporate companies, SMEs, public sector bodies and educational institutions, professional associations and trade unions, faith groups, charitable and social economy sector organisations.
  • The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) works to sustain Scotch Whisky’s place as the world’s leading high-quality drink and its long-term growth worldwide. For more information on the SWA, visit and follow SWA on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA

For further information, please contact:

Fraser Grieve – regional director, SCDI
T: 07747 444261

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