Whisky Magazine Issue 137
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Fond memories of my trip to Orkney
Well the results are in and we here in the UK have voted to leave the European Union. For those reading this outside the UK, this probably means very little. The vote was very close with 48 per cent voting to remain and 52 per cent voting to leave. In my opinion, I think this means very uncertain times ahead. This is very relevant to the Scotch whisky industry because one of the complications of this vote is that Scotland, because it voted to remain, will inevitably, in the near future, hold another referendum to decide on whether to leave the United Kingdom. All of this will lead to more uncertainty and take many more years to unfold.
I have recently returned from The Orkneys, where the subject of the referendum was being debated in earnest, and I was intrigued to hear that there had been plans to build a tunnel to connect the mainland to the islands. This did not go down at all well with the Orcadians who in previous years have expressed a wish to become independent themselves.
I was staying on the southernmost island, South Ronaldsay, where from my window you could see five lighthouses. Now there is something to put on the estate agents details when the house comes to be sold. Waking one morning I soon realised the importance of cruise ships visiting the islands. The Caribbean Princess was sailing past, through the Pentland Firth. This ship can carry up to 3,000 passengers, and with over 60 cruise ships coming into Kirkwall every year, you soon realise that even if only ...