What Will Happen to Whisky if Scotland Gains Independence?


You can take our freedom, but you can never take our (delicious and smooth) Scotch!

Scottish citizens are taking a big (and important) step for their livelihood by voting for or against freedom today. But an independent Scotland could have ripples that go way beyond a change in citizenship status. We’ve rounded up the ways that Scottish independence could affect food and drink in Scotland and the U.K. as a whole.

Retail prices could skyrocket. Amongst the biggest concerns is that suddenly grocery prices in Scotland could climb as supermarkets base prices off of wholesale costs; if Scotland is treated as an international entity, national pricing policies could change, thereby making Scottish residents pay more for the same spotted dick pudding, than their neighbors do.

New produce and trading opportunities. As an independent state, Scotland’s administration could set new standards for which countries they want to trade with, and which imports they want to prioritize. According to Food Navigator, Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said, “Independence will open new doors … break down trade barriers and allow Scotland to capitalize quickly on emerging opportunities.”

Scotch could be on the rocks. A big concern is how will one of Scotland’s major exports, Scottish whisky, be affected by independence? Those in favor of a “no” vote say that separating from the British pound could make for an uncertain future with inflated whisky prices, while those in favor of a “yes” vote say that smaller distilleries could benefit from the higher profile Scotland will have as an independent nation.

Scottish brands could be better promoted. If Scotland is independent, it could mean better international recognition for Scottish brands, now that they aren’t attached to the U.K., like Johnnie Walker, or Walkers Shortbread. “The global focus on Scotland as a result of the referendum, and right through to independence day and beyond, provides another fantastic opportunity to keep our produce in the global spotlight, increasing sales and exports as a result,” said Lochhead.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi