The Scottish first minister, Nicolas Sturgeon, has announced that the vote for Scottish independence will take place before the spring of 2019. What will be the consequences of this choice, particularly on the food industry? A major loss for the British economy, impact on stability and more! Have a look on this great article from FoodBev Media to understand the potential changes for Scotland and its trading partners.
“In a move that – for a long time – seemed unlikely, the Scottish government has signalled its intention to hold a second independence referendum, just two and a half years after the first. The country’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that the vote would take place before the spring of 2019, but Prime Minister Theresa May has said that it won’t happen.
Here we take a look at what Scottish independence would mean for the food industry of Scotland, the UK, and Europe.
It was announced yesterday that the value of Scotland’s food and drink exports was £5.5 billion last year – over a quarter of the record £20 billion that the whole of the UK exported in 2016. By far the UK’s largest food and drink sector– six times that of the next biggest, chocolate – is Scotch whisky, which would be a big loss for the UK economy. It’s fair to assume, too, that Scotland is contributing its fair share to UK exports of beer (£595 million in total last year), salmon (£579 million) and beef (£446 million).
So the effect of Scottish independence on the UK economy would certainly be felt. There are risks associated with independence, but it’s simply not true that a country of Scotland’s size couldn’t stand on its own two feet – take for reference Serbia or Portugal, with larger populations than Scotland but less productive economies. That’s bad news for the rest of the UK.
David Williamson, the Scotch Whisky Association’s director of public affairs and communications, said: “With Scottish food and drink exports reaching a record high in 2016, it’s clear that the sector is leading the way in terms of the country’s economic and export performance. And Scotch Whisky continues to be the most significant part of this success, with overseas shipments making up around three-quarters of total food and drink exports.”
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