News June, 16th 2016 by

Brexit if you want to….

in out

Brexit if you want to….

AJ Linn
The possibility of a Brexit is preying on the minds of UK expats in whatever European country they may have taken up abode, but as it happens we are the lucky ones as far as the essentials of life are concerned. The real victims will be UK residents who enjoy a tipple.

If Brexit becomes a reality, travellers returning from Europe to Fortress Britain will be restricted, as in the bad old days, to 16 litres of beer, 4 litres of wine and a litre of spirits or two litres of fortified or sparkling wine.

However those who support minimum pricing as a way of reducing alcohol consumption will be happy. Scotland’s efforts to legislate accordingly were thwarted by EU trade competition rules, but, if outside the EU, they will be able to do what they want. A proposal to reduce duty on draught real ale and cider as a way of getting people back to pubs will henceforth become easier as EU duty rates on such items will not have to be respected. British winemakers, just starting to get the international recognition they deserve, may find their exports hampered by tax barriers set up when selling to EU countries.

A serious commercial threat would be the effect on geographical food and drink denominations, currently protected EU-wide by law. No longer in the Brussels club, a British maker of Stilton cheese, for example, could be involved in expensive legal battles to stop a French producer selling ‘Stilton’ to the USA or Russia. Scotch whisky distillers would also be seriously affected until adequate UK/EU treaties were signed – years away.

It is hard to think how the resident expat who seldom leaves Spain would suffer, except that UK-sourced products may be subject to higher taxes, whether personal possessions or mail order and online purchases.

In any case many of us will not have a great deal of interest in the matter by the time the final ties are cut in the decade or so it will take to complete the formalities of a Brexit.

Shall we open that second bottle now?




AJ Linn

Andrew Linn left England 40 years ago to relocate to Spain, having been involved in businesses such as wine shipping and publishing. He currently writes regularly and professionally on wine, food, flamenco, and the Spanish way of life for various publications, and has a regular column in a Spanish newspaper. Andrew is involved in charity work relating to abandoned and mistreated animals.

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