Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s suggestion that she may seek an independence referendum in the next two years has divided Scottish publishers at the fair.
Claire Cain, c.e.o. of Edinburgh-based Fledgling Press, said she was “torn” about the issue. She added: “Scotland is being completely ignored by Theresa May, though I have doubts about whether it is financially secure enough to go independent.”
Adrian Searle, publisher at Glasgow’s Freight Books, told The Bookseller he was “very pro-independence”, stating: “If Scotland became independent, it would be a huge injection of confidence in the cultural life of the country. Scotland would be on the lips of many countries across the world, which would help to sell rights. The first referendum was a positive thing for publishing, because it offered a resurgence of political books about Scotland.”
Yet Joanne Macleod, finance director of Edinburgh-based Birlinn, said she was “tired” of political negotiations: “We already have questions over VAT and selling into the EU, and the process and the costs involved. These questions have not been answered.”
Publishing Scotland c.e.o. Marion Sinclair told The Bookseller: “There are difficulties of joining the Single Market with Brexit; a [vote for Scottish independence] would have challenges, as the biggest trade partner for most Scottish publishers is the rest of the UK. The most troubling thing for the trade is the long period of uncertainty of the negotiations, which will go on for months and years.”