Uncertain times

22 July, 2016

These are certainly uncertain times we are living in - 51.9% of those who voted in the UK referendum voted for us to leave the European Union

That unexpected result, not least by many of those who voted for it, has caused mayhem in the markets and a near-complete clear out of the political parties in Westminster. In the UK we now have a second woman prime minister, unelected, who wanted to remain in the EU.

Since then we have had murder and mayhem in Nice and a failed political coup in Turkey. French president François Hollande must have breathed a sigh of relief that the European football championships went off without major incident, putting aside the defeat of the French team.

But then up pops a murderer intent on killing as many innocent people as possible, ostensibly in the name of Allah and Islam. And approximately 24 hours later, a group of Turkish generals (apparently), try to topple the controversial Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who himself appears to be trying to undermine the Turkish democracy by wresting executive control for himself.

What next? Donald Trump becoming president of the States could signal the next big upheaval. If he enacts half of what he pledges we are certainly facing more unsettling times. For the alcoholic drinks industry it seems principally about hedging against volatile exchange rates, certainly for now. The weaker pound makes UK exports more competitive but weakens the spending power of our travellers and tourists. Win – no win.

As far as we can see, Brexit is not good for anyone, except possibly Russian president Vladimir Putin who, with all the various trade embargoes, might be pleased to see instability within Europe.

Hopefully, the forthcoming Olympics will be nothing but good news and should give Brazil a welcome boost. Where are all those cachaça brands when you want them? Bring on the caipirinha. That’s for sure.

Featured in Drinks International August issue.





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Hamish Smith

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