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WSTA's Miles Beale: No-deal Brexit "unacceptable"

Published:  19 June, 2017

The WSTA has responded to concerns around May’s promise of a "no deal" Brexit, warning it could leave the UK on a “cliff-edge”.

Since the election, people have been asking what Theresa May’s controversial statement that “no deal is better than a bad deal” – which was subsequently written into the Conservative’s manifesto - could mean for the UK.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA is now urging the shakily re-elected Tory government to secure a fully negotiated divorce settlement with EU, rather than crashing out with no agreement in place.

In a statement released this morning, he said that a failed negotiation would be “totally unacceptable”, and would lead to maximum disruption for the UK trade.

“This would inevitably lead to disruption to trade flows in the short term and significant uncertainty for business in the medium term - until trade deals with the EU and the UK’s other major trading partners could be agreed,” he said.

As the UK’s Brexit secretary David Davis and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnie prepare for the first formal face-to-face settlement talks, the WSTA said it was the responsibility of politicians not to disrupt long-established trading patterns, further stressing the UK’s place as the world’s second biggest importer of wine by volume and value, and the biggest global exporter of spirits.

“It’s vitally important too that government does all it can to minimise the impact of a cliff-edge Brexit, including joining the World Wine Trade Group and negotiating bilateral agreements with Australian and the US to replace current EU wine agreements with those countries,” he concluded.