Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP, Elspeth Attwooll, has toasted with a dram the health of the Scotch Whisky Association after the decision by members of the European Parliament on a directive which would have had devastating affects on the industry.

Ms Attwooll said the EU Water Framework Directive which threatened to impose new controls on water extraction which could have had potentially costly implications for the Scotch Whisky industry.

Ms Attwooll said: "The final outcome has built an important exemption for industries such Scotch whisky, where water extraction has little or no impact on the water table.

"The European Parliament and European environment ministers have shown that they are willing to build flexibility into EU legislation.

"Scotch whisky producers can sleep more easily tonight. But the battle is not quite over yet.

"Above all, we must now ensure that the directive is sensibly implemented in Scotland and that the Scottish Executive takes full advantage of the flexibility of this important new legislation to benefit industries such as Scotch whisky which rely, so heavily, on easy access to a good supply of pure clean water."

Elspeth Attwooll is the Scottish Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland.