Industry experts?

Whisky shops in Berwick and Carlisle are preparing for Scottish drinkers on booze cruises after the introduction of minimum pricing.

Industry experts have warned the new rules will mean drinkers may cross the border in search of cheaper alcohol.

What sort of expertise, other than sentience, do you need to predict that?

26 thoughts on “Industry experts?”

  1. This is the day Scots rue the Cheviots. For so long a border defence, now a large inconvenient hill range to cross to stock up with van loads of cheap booze / vital supplies.

  2. Secondary effects – bad news for enjoyers of good whisky in Carlisle/Berwick, as minimum pricing will only raise the price of cheap brands. I wonder the good stuff will be squeezed out of these shops to make way for firewater for the natives?

    Also there’s some rent to capture here (if I am using the correct definition). New price in Scotland is old price + n. Will the prices the other side of the border become old price + some fraction of n?

  3. Bring on minimum pricing for kilts, haggis and anything fried. Not sure why the SNP are picking on the scots but works for me as nothing is as amusing as an angry Scot.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Who would have thought that Scottish Devolution would lead to the Wee Frees imposing alcohol laws on Scotland? Oh wait, it wasn’t the Wee Frees.

    But at least Scots are true to type – they hate each other so much that the first thing they try to do in power is make each other miserable. Well, more miserable.

    Good. It is easy to dream of Scottish independence when you’re a handful of disgruntled misfits in a bar in Leith bitterly resenting the fact you didn’t go to a good enough school. It is so much more fun when you’re in office and the voters get to experience your policies first hand.

  5. Maritime Barbarian

    A question. Who gets the revenue if a whisky bottle is sold in England, but drunk in Scotland?
    Put another way, is the revenue shared out to the regions or goes into a common pot? I suspect the latter.

  6. Don’t believe for a moment that this headcase puritanism stops at Hadrian’s Wall. We have more than enough of the fuckers here to worry about.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    As anyone who reads Chris Snowden will know there’s a playbook here.

    The statistics from this policy will be tortured to death to show that if it hadn’t been for the perfidious English it would have been a great success. Parliament will then come under pressure to impose the same tax on the English, which they will accept with barely disguised glee.

  8. Norman Loughery, Off-trade Sales Director at C&C, which owns Scottish lager brand Tennent’s, said: “Today is a landmark day for Scotland.

    “We’ve been supporters of Minimum Unit Pricing since it was first proposed in 2011 and have worked closely with the Scottish Government

    Given that they benefit from minimum pricing it is hardly surprising. I’d be boycotting Tennent’s products if I lived in Scotland.

  9. I still don’t know why an internet company based in England can’t make alcohol sales to Scotland free of the MP, and then fulfil those orders from a Scottish location. The sale takes place on an English server, so outside the legislation, the delivery is not a sale. Why does everyone have to travel to England when the internet brings it right to your house?

  10. Rob said:
    “New price in Scotland is old price + n. Will the prices the other side of the border become old price + some fraction of n?”

    Probably depends on how much of n goes on transport costs.

    And on their existing English customers; put up their prices and you’ll lose some of their sales (might they head further south, away from the border, to buy at unincreased prices?). Depends on whether the English customers are buying stuff that’s already over the Scottish minimum (and whether you can get some brand discrimination; perhaps have a big St George on the cheap stuff for English customers, to stop the Jocks buying it?).

  11. Jim said:
    “I still don’t know why an internet company based in England can’t make alcohol sales to Scotland free of the MP, and then fulfil those orders from a Scottish location. ”

    Doesn’t work for inter-Member EU sales, because there was an ECJ case that decided that it didn’t count as “personal import”.

    But that doesn’t necessarily apply to this; it’ll depend on how they define applicable sales.

  12. Tebay services have a large selection of booze for all tastes. Strangely there seems to be more Northbound than Southbound.

  13. @DocBud

    Add Morrisons and Tesco to boycott list.

    Both hiked their prices yesterday 30 April – eg 2L Cider (5%) was £2, yesterday £5

  14. Jim. Not sure how it works with minimum pricing but as far as licencing is concerned, online sales are considered to have take place where the order is fulfilled not where the order is taken.
    Hence if you run an internet booze business, your warehouse needs a premises licence but you do not

  15. The SNP won’t stop until the Scottish Gubbermint has a retail booze monopoly like the northern Scandinavians.

    Meanwhile I predict that sugar sales will rocket as they have in erm… Norway…

  16. Rob, I would think it unlikely that good will be squeezed out.

    You can buy a rubbish drink for £8 or a better one for £8. So you think people will buy the rubbish one?

    If suppliers can’t compete at the bottom end on price, you think they are going to stop competing at all? Rather than competing on quality.

    If it were a sliding scale, then yes, but the only — only — good thing about minimum pricing is that it has no effect at all on decent drink.

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    Pablito – “Hence if you run an internet booze business, your warehouse needs a premises licence but you do not”

    I have a plan

    1. Buy a warehouse in a Northern Irish village that straddles the border but on the Irish side

    2. Sell alcohol on line to Scottish people

    3. Take advantage of the Soft Border with the EU to walk said alcohol over to the other side of the border and post it from the Post Office on the British Side

    4. Watch pretty much everyone’s head explode.

  18. I cross the border from North Yorkshire to York buy cheaper petrol. It’s one of the advantages of freedom of movement within the UK common travel area. 😉

  19. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Worstall – “You’ve just, pretty much, revisited one of the sub-plots in Puckoon.”

    Well great minds steal and all that.

    It will be interesting to see what the Irish south of the border are willing to do to avoid EU taxes. If there is a soft border and Britain does not impose punitive taxes, the Irish will presumably come to the North to shop. For something big like a car, well that could be a couple of hundred quid off. Worth doing. Whiskey? That would be interesting to see. I doubt it unless you want to buy in bulk. The weekly shop? I wonder. Dublin is absurdly close to Belfast – it is only about 120 kilometres. Say, less than two hours each way. Not worth it to save £20, but it may be worth it to save anything over £50.

    Could we see the world’s largest shopping centres lined up along the border with a car park in the Republic?


    “Money from the sugar tax will go to the government, which could use some of the tax revenue it receives to improve public health, for example by increasing funding for school sports.

    However, minimum pricing per unit of alcohol is likely to create windfall profits for the manufacturers and retailers.

    If the alcohol industry uses the money to increase promotions, or advertising, this could undo some of the potential benefits of the policy.”

    Oh noes. How outrageous. Obviously government should work out how much the drink really costs to make (perhaps Murph could apply a smidgen of his omniscience) and impose a windfall tax.

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