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WSTA welcomes plan for temporary suspension on tariffs in event of 'no deal'

Published:  13 March, 2019

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has welcomed the plan to temporarily suspend tariffs on wine and spirits under a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

The trade body however reiterated that while it welcomes the decision, announced by the government following last night’s vote, “far more would be required to ensure wine and spirit businesses can deliver a free flow of trade”.

“Action is urgently needed to resolve questions related to customs arrangements, border controls and migrant workers in order for businesses to keep trading,” said chief executive Miles Beale.

“The rejection of the Prime Minister’s flawed Brexit deal throws wine and spirit businesses into yet deeper uncertainty; and for longer. With the Brexit deadline only a fortnight away it is imperative that MPs vote this evening – and then legislate - to avoid ‘no deal’. Whatever happens next it’s clear that an extension to article 50 is required, which the UK government and the EU should agree as soon as possible,” he said.

The government has said most imports into the UK would not attract a tariff in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, with zero tariffs on wine and on most spirits except from some rums. Already coming from outside the EU, rum already has a small tariff on it and this will be rolled over to rum coming from the EU. 

Under a temporary scheme 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access. At the moment 80% of imports are tariff-free.