Stilton, Scotch whisky and Melton Mowbray pork pies are under EU copycat threat 

The identities of Stilton, Scotch whisky and Melton Mowbray pork pies could all be under threat after Brexit.

The EU is expected to reject demands for stronger legal protections for UK regional products in trade talks next week.

This is despite Britain promising to protect European products such as champagne and Parma ham.

British GI products ¿ including Scotch whisky, Cumberland sausages, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Stilton and Welsh lamb ¿ were worth an estimated £7billion in 2017 [File photo]

British GI products ¿ including Scotch whisky, Cumberland sausages, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Stilton and Welsh lamb ¿ were worth an estimated £7billion in 2017 [File photo]

British GI products – including Scotch whisky, Cumberland sausages, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Stilton and Welsh lamb – were worth an estimated £7billion in 2017 [File photo]

While EU product protection was agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement, British negotiators failed to get the same guarantees for our regional produce, according to The Daily Telegraph.

There are currently 83 British food and drink products on the EU’s register of Geographical Indications, or GIs. This makes it illegal to create rip-off versions, using the same names.

British GI products – including Scotch whisky, Cumberland sausages, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Stilton and Welsh lamb – were worth an estimated £7billion in 2017.

But while the EU’s 3,347 GIs are already protected in the UK post-Brexit, it is thought British products will be taken off the register at the end of the transition period, unless something can be agreed.

There are currently 83 British food and drink products on the EU¿s register of Geographical Indications, or GIs. This makes it illegal to create rip-off versions, using the same names. Stilton cheese is pictured above [File photo]

There are currently 83 British food and drink products on the EU¿s register of Geographical Indications, or GIs. This makes it illegal to create rip-off versions, using the same names. Stilton cheese is pictured above [File photo]

There are currently 83 British food and drink products on the EU’s register of Geographical Indications, or GIs. This makes it illegal to create rip-off versions, using the same names. Stilton cheese is pictured above [File photo]

David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, told MPs earlier this week: ‘The problem with the Withdrawal Agreement … is that it requires us to protect EU GIs in this country in perpetuity but does not place any such obligation on the EU to protect ours. We would like to have something that is a bit more balanced.’

Mr Frost is a former chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, an industry worth £5.5billion to the economy.

A spokesman for the association said: ‘The GI system is a critical guarantee of Scotch whisky’s quality and provenance, and has been a key factor in our industry’s export success.’

British officials argue that the Withdrawal Agreement calls for the current arrangement for existing GIs to be replaced. 

But an EU source told The Telegraph: ‘We have no intention of reopening the Withdrawal Agreement.’

Trade experts said the prospect of securing better protection for regional products at the next round of talks, which begin on Tuesday, was not good. Sam Lowe, of the Centre for European Reform, said: ‘I’m slightly at a loss as to why the UK thinks it can reopen the discussion on GIs, having already conceded to EU demands.’

The EU is expected to reject demands for stronger legal protections for UK regional products in trade talks next week. This is despite Britain promising to protect European products such as champagne and Parma ham [File photo]

The EU is expected to reject demands for stronger legal protections for UK regional products in trade talks next week. This is despite Britain promising to protect European products such as champagne and Parma ham [File photo]

The EU is expected to reject demands for stronger legal protections for UK regional products in trade talks next week. This is despite Britain promising to protect European products such as champagne and Parma ham [File photo]

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