Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

The strengths of the whisky industry should see it survive Brexit

Post Thumbnail

There has been a big surge in Scotch Whisky exports over the past year, according to buoyant figures issued some weeks ago by the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association). For the first time annual figures have topped the £5.5 billion mark, which is quite a boost on the £4-plus billion not long ago.

Some of this growth can be attributed to the mushrooming demand for good single malts which, as they are bottled and packaged in Scotland, earn considerably more per unit that bulk-blend exports which leave these shores in 25,000-litre tankers or tanktainers to be diluted and bottled overseas.

However, I suspect another factor contributed to the boom, and that was fear of Brexit. With the dire prospect of a no-deal Brexit looming in the months leading up to March 29, one can assume that importers in many countries, both in Europe and elsewhere, stockpiled Scotch to ensure they got it at existing prices and (where they applied) tariffs rather than those that would have applied had trade with the UK gone onto WTO terms.

Although one can rejoice at the boom and the heartening figures for the industry, the next set of export figures may be more sobering. However, if the UK lands in the same five-to-midnight fankle this coming October faced with the next Brexit deadline, we may see another surge of Scotch whisky stockpiling, followed by another slump when the UK gets another extension or finally flounders out with some sort of deal.

I recall the late Margaret Thatcher was an unpopular figure in Scotland, but she had two redeeming qualities. She liked her whisky and, because she and husband Denis had both worked in industry, they understood the needs and disciplines of industry—something the vast majority of current MPs, and ministers, are bereft of.

Worse, even when industry bodies such as the CBI, the Institute of Directors and industrial trades unions told ministers and MPs the devastating effect a no-deal Brexit would have on industry, their collective reply often seemed pretty close to Boris Johnson’s deplorable four-letter brush-off.

Luckily, the Scotch whisky industry has great long-term strengths and a world-wide repute that will see it survive, and thrive, despite the ongoing Brexit turmoil. Other industries may not be so lucky.


Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from The Courier Food & Drink team

More from The Courier