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Brexit: WSTA launches #NoToNoDeal campaign

Published:  20 November, 2018

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has warned MPs ‘don’t bottle it’, while urging wine and spirit businesses to get behind a campaign that makes clear that a no deal Brexit would be unacceptable to the UK drinks industry.

The #NoToNoDeal campaign follows Theresa May’s call to “listen to business” at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual conference on Monday, where she appealed to business leaders to back her draft Brexit agreement, amid an escalation of warring factions in government.

The campaign calls on the drinks trade to write to their MPs to say that a no deal Brexit would be bad for business and “must explicitly be ruled out as the worst possible outcome - whether by design or by default.”

In a parallel 'Don’t Bottle It' campaign launch, the WSTA highlighted issues that it has campaigned on during the Brexit negotiations, including the importance of frictionless trade, sufficient labour supply and the need for a stable transition period until at least 2020.

“There are major concerns across the wine and spirit industry that we are still in danger of ending up with a disastrous ‘no deal’ Brexit,” said the WSTA.

Given that 55% of wine consumed in the UK is imported from the EU, while 45% of spirits exported from the UK is sent to the EU, much is at stake.

“The UK wine and spirit industry is a world leading £50bn industry which does half of its trade with the EU,” said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

“With the launch of our ‘Don’t Bottle It’ campaign, our message to Parliament is that ‘no deal’ is totally unacceptable. It would fail to deliver what we have asked for consistently since the Referendum and there is now simply not enough time to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit without causing serious damage to UK businesses,” he added.

Beale also warned that while businesses have been putting in contingency plans “as best they can”, a no deal would deliver many complicating factors beyond businesses’ control, resulting in “chaos” and “inflicting painful damage” on both exporters and importers across the UK drinks trade.

For more details, go to: Don't Bottle It campaign