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Lord Maude to speak on new trading arrangements post-Brexit at WSTA conference

Published:  04 August, 2016

The former Minister for Trade and Minister for Europe, Lord Francis Maude, will be the keynote speaker at this year's WSTA Annual Conference, which will take 'Brexit and the changing shape of the industry' as its theme.

Lord Maude will address visitors to The Wine and Spirit Trade Association's (WSTA) Annual Conference on September 13, where he will speak on how the government will tackle new trading arrangements following the shock leave vote in June.

"The UK wine and spirit industry deserves its leading place in the global market and is vital to this country's economic prospects. I hope to cast some light during what are uncertain times for WSTA members and British businesses more generally, especially ones trading with the rest of the world. But there will be opportunities as well, and industry and government will need to work together closely to identify and then grab them," Lord Maude said.

Having resigned from his Ministerial post in February 2016, Lord Maude will offer his views on how Theresa May's government is likely to approach Brexit and how the UK government's approach will be received.

His experience with international trade goes back over three decades, having negotiated the early Single Market measures and acted as Margaret Thatcher's Minister for Europe.

In his post as Minister for Trade and Investment from 2015 to 2016, Lord Maude sat in the Trade Ministers Council and was heavily involved in international trade negotiations, with a focus on transatlantic trade.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale added: "For a genuinely global industry like wine and spirits, Brexit will have seismic and game-changing effect on our trade and the WSTA's agenda. Our aim is to provide members with as much informed comment during such uncertain times. There are few more authoritative voices on trade than Lord Maude, the last government's Trade Minister - and even fewer with such long experience.

"Lord Maude will have a fascinating, insightful view on how the future of our industry - and our country - is likely to look outside the EU. We are very lucky to have him speak to us and I am greatly looking forward to hearing his views. They will influence what the WSTA does next."

This year's WSTA Annual Conference will take place on September 13 at The Royal Institution of Great Britain in central London.

As well as Lord Maude there will be panel of experts discussing innovations in the industry and future trends.