Brexit – Hur påverkar det whiskyindustrin?

På midsommarafton vaknade världen till nyheten att Storbritannien har röstat för att lämna Europeiska Unionen. Detta trots att de sena undersökningarna visade ett litet övertag för nej-sidan.

Whiskytower är definitivt ingen politisk sida på något sätt. Vi älskar whisky och skriver om whisky. Den frågan vi ställer oss är: Hur kommer detta att påverka Skotsk whisky? Tittar man på hur Skottarna röstade så ville de stanna kvar i unionen och redan nu så talar man om en ny folkomröstning för att bryta sig ur Storbritannien och att vara kvar i EU. Hur det blir med det återstår att se.

Vi har tagit kontakt med ett antal svenska och utländska whiskypersonligheter för att fråga dem hur deras tankar går rörande Brexit och dess eventuella inverkan på whiskyindustrin.

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.

What are your thoughts on Brexit?
I can’t see anything positive in the result, from a whisky industry perspective.
Martin Markvardsen, Senior Brand Ambassador for Highland Park

It is bad for Scotland, UK, Europe and the Whisky industry, nothing good about it for the next 5-8 years. Then it might turn.
Henric Molin, Owner of Spirit of Hven

I have difficulty seeing it any other way than that a Brexit is very negative for the UK in particular but also for Europe as a whole, politically and economically. Sweden will also miss the UK within the EU, as there is often a common ground between our countries, on EU issues. If it turns really bad, it may also spell the start of a downward spiral, leading to the breaking up of the union and ultimately more nationalism and confrontation on the continent. This would naturally be most negative, for historical reasons not least.
Per Caldenby, Owner of Smögen Whisky

I’m sorry to see that the vote turned out the way it did…and I’m afraid that nothing good is going to come from it. However, it should also be seen as a message that not everyone has benefitted from the growing trend toward globalization, and our leaders need to take a long look at whether globalization is creating increased income inequality.
Mark Gillespie, Whiskycast

Clearly there’s huge surprise, shock, resentment and confusion in the UK at the moment. But also optimism and confidence from those who voted to exit the EU.  
As someone at the heart of it I can tell you that things will certainly feel uncertain frightening and untrodden for a long time yet.  However, any lingering disappointment of those who voted to ‘Remain’- myself included – needs to be channeled into steering the ship into more positive waters, so as a nation, we don’t allow ourselves to become consumed by hatred, bigotry and right-wing extremism, which is the most pressing, critical threat to our society and the rest of Europe. 
The rest of Europe should be watching VERY closely: if we make a go of it, expect more member states to abandon off a sinking ship.  
If we fail… I hereby reserve the last case of Lagavulin 16yo before we slide into oblivion… 
Neil Ridley, Whisky Writer

Det är lite tidigt att se vad som kommer att hända men några tankar har jag. 
Anders Görling, Författare och Whiskyexpert

How will Brexit affect the whisky industy?

How do you think it will affect the whisky industry?
To early to tell….. Time will show. – Martin Markvardsen

Cost will go up as trade will be more difficult, customs will be changed and import export will need to be reconfigured. – Henric Molin

As regards the whisky industry, it will make trade a bit more difficult and that is truly annoying, but I guess that should be overcome over time. I thus think it will have a temporary impact, but probably not a very significant one. Mind, I am talking from a malt whisky perspective. – Per Caldenby

The whisky industry has lived through political turmoil before, and will make it through this. However, I have a feeling that Brexit will likely mean the end of any major distillery expansions or new projects for at least 3-5 years until the UK works out its divorce settlement with the EU – and Scotland looks seriously at another independence vote to try and remain within the EU. I can’t see any logical reason to make major investments in the UK until we have a better understanding of what the trade policies will be long-term. – Mark Gillespie

The obvious challenges will come when looking at direct routes to market in Europe, but also those which rely on Europe as a conduit to the other further flung markets.  
I suspect in the short term, if you buy your whisky in Euros or Dollars, you’re likely to be a little happier. But the pound will strengthen eventually.  It’s a case of looking at the associated whisky prices in other export countries… Will they become parallels for the new UK-less EU member states.  Who knows! 
Imported cost of goods – in particular casks, are likely to be another increasingly expensive item, so expect price increases there. – Neil Ridley

Den skotska whiskyindustrin har gått back tre år i rad i snitt 4 procent per år även om senaste året var en mindre nedgång. Det betyder att det kan slå hårt om den brittiska ekonomin går ner vilket är en stor risk. 
När Skottland hade sin folkomröstning så stödde hela whiskyindustrin utom Springbank kampanjen att stanna kvar i unionen. Ett av de viktigaste argumenten var att man ville vara kvar i EU. Nu har SNP redan börjat tala om en ny folkomröstning för ett fristående Skottland som då skulle ansöka om medlemskap i EU. I detta fall så kanske whiskyindustrin ändrar sig. – Anders Görling

What are the thoughts and concerns among your colleagues?
I think we all need to see what’s going on. The ones I been talking to have same thoughts as me. – Martin Markvardsen

I have heard nothing positive from any Scot or person related to scotch whisky industry. However I have heard some positive notes from Asia and America as seeing a market advantage. – Henric Molin

I have not spoken to anyone about Brexit, within the whisky industry, who has been voicing anything positive about it. I do however know that there are some who regard it as a positive thing. Opinions are as always divided. – Per Caldenby

From the discussions I’ve had and seen, I think everyone in the industry is going to have to take a “wait and see” approach until we have a clearer view of what’s coming. – Mark Gillespie

As a few of our colleagues have rightly mentioned, the industry is already used to huge upheaval. It has weathered many turbulent economic storms for decades before and will no doubt see this as a fresh, if slightly unexpected challenge. The potential of a 2nd Referendum on Scotland Independence will also throw a few other curve balls. 
In short- who knows what lies next:  maybe the industry can start to really innovate if it isn’t party to certain restrictive EU laws governing the production and labelling of ‘Scotch whisky’? Every cloud has a silver lining! – Neil Ridley

Redan tidigare vet jag att Diageo diskuterade möjligheten att flytta sitt huvudkontor till ett annat land och inte längre vara ett brittiskt företag. Då var det Schweiz som var aktuellt. Kanske blir det något sådant också. Det näst största bolaget är ju redan franskt och det finns både japanska, italienska och amerikanska företag i whiskybranschen. – Anders Gjörling

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