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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
James Walker

BrewDog boss says Brexit ‘has been tragic for UK business’ including his own

BREWDOG CEO James Watt has warned that Brexit “has been tragic for UK business”, including his own.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Watt said it was “really tough”, adding that “it's just massively handicapped UK companies that do business in Europe, with zero benefit at all.”

The SNP have also reacted, saying that it shows that "independence is Scotland's only route back to EU prosperity" as First Minister Humza Yousaf visits Brussels to meet with foreign leaders and investors.

In the interview, Watt added: "Brexit has had a significant negative impact on our business, which is really tough.

“Getting beer to our customers in Europe is significantly more difficult. For me, it's just massively handicapped UK companies that do business in Europe, with zero benefit at all.

“I think it's been tragic for UK business and a lot of the economic issues the UK is facing - more inflation than other places, being harder to do business, is a result of the catastrophic decision to leave the EU. It's really crippled businesses in the UK."

The multinational brewery and pub chain is based in Ellon, Scotland. It claims to be the number one craft brewer in Europe, with a production capacity of over 800,000 hectolitres.

The BrewDog CEO’s comments also come amid growing warnings about the impact of Brexit on the economy and UK inflation. Last week, former Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned Brexit is causing "a weaker pound, higher inflation and weaker growth" - with the OBR forecasting a 4% hit to GDP and 15% blow to UK trade intensity.

Commenting, SNP business spokesperson and MP for Gordon, where Brewdog is based, Richard Thomson MP said: "The Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party have trashed the UK economy and inflicted long-term damage on businesses and the cost of living - showing why it's essential Scotland escapes Brexit and Westminster control with independence.

"Independence is Scotland's only route back to EU prosperity - and rejoining the EU is the only credible plan to deliver sustained economic growth. While Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer obsess over Brexit, the SNP is the only party offering real change with independence.

"There is no doubt that Brexit has made the cost of living crisis worse - and it has set the UK economy on a path to long-term decline. At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to secure independence, escape Brexit and get rid of unelected Tory governments for good."

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