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‘Time running out’ for wine & spirits free trade warns WTSA

Published:  02 February, 2018

Representatives from the UK and European drinks industries have called on politicians to ensure the cross border free trade of wine & spirits remains post Brexit.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association met with members of the EU Commission’s Brexit negotiating team yesterday in Brussels to discuss the future of the drinks trade between Britain and the Union.

The EU’s top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier did not attend.

Representatives from the WSTA, the Scotch Whisky Association, Spirits Europe and Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins joined forces to lobby for the flow of wine and spirits to continue unfettered after Brexit. Their case was outlined in a joint paper.

“The Brexit position paper makes clear that partners in the wine and spirit trade right across Europe strongly support the UK and EU securing a comprehensive trade agreement,” said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

“All of us want a solution that enables us to continue to do business after Brexit and to ensure UK and EU consumers will be able to continue to enjoy the full range of products. The next step is to bring the politicians onboard and that is what the meeting with the Brexit taskforce aims to achieve.”

Beale also referred to the leaked UK Exit Analysis report, which made headlines this week for suggesting that the UK economy will be damaged by all three of the exit options currently on the table.

“The contents of the leaked document, which suggest that every part of the UK economy would suffer, reinforces the urgent need for trade associations to secure future trade – and provide business with certainty as soon as possible,” said Beale.

“Time is running out and the economic importance to businesses on both sides of the channel to get this right cannot be over emphasised.”