Here are some interesting articles which you should be aware of in relation to Europe and the UK. I was, I thought, reliably informed by a Chartered Accountant, no less, that Brexiteers were saving poor people from having to pay 5 percent extra for their food because the monsters at the EU were going to take away zero ratings for VAT across Europe. This story is fairly long, so bear with me, and open the links as you go for later perusal.
EU threatens to abolish zero VAT regime 2005 (Ireland) This link will tell you that the EU planned to remove zero ratings for children’s clothing, but not foodstuffs.
Wikipedia EU value added Tax See the section ‘zero rate derogation’
The above will take you to rates paid across Europe. You will find the United Kingdom at the bottom. In fact under EU law, Ireland and the UK were allowed zero rated VAT on food back in 1991, and there are no official plans to remove the zero rating. In fact EU papers have shown that they plan to extend it for countries with other concerns.
Scaremongering from the Mail 2012
Scaremongering from the Guardian 2016
Scaremongering from AccountingWeb 2014 (requires registration with location and phone number)
Scaremongering from Telegraph 2016 Showing David Cameron as heroic protector of zero VAT on food
Research from Government 2016 with ref to law and future This shows that in 2003 the EU did indeed plan to abolish zero ratings in order to streamline the system, but as they would require our agreement to achieve a consensus, did not press ahead with it.
TMF comparison of countries actual VAT changes showing a reduction of VAT in several countries.
EU Q and A on VAT April 2016
So, as we can see, the EU had no immediate plans to implement a VAT increase on food, to the EU minimum of five percent. They had tried to broach the subject a few times, but since they are dealing with rather a lot of countries with differing concerns, (France wanted a VAT reduction on eating out, for example) they were not rocking the boat.
What will affect you, is Scotland leaving and rejoining in the event of independence, unless an agreement similar to the 1991 agreement can be reached to allow the implementation of zero rate derogation on things like children’s clothing and food. I would suggest, therefore, that indyref 2 should be sooner, rather than later, in order to retain the possibility of maintaining the existing agreement on zero rated goods.