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MPs urged to make no ‘no deal’ official before March 29

Published:  14 March, 2019

Last night’s vote to remove the possibility of a no deal scenario from the Brexit table has resulted in a sigh of relief from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) as well as other corners of the trade.

But the question remains, how long will it last?

In a vote that went against the wishes of Theresa May and her government, MPs rejected the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal on Wednesday night (March 13).

However, this is not currently binding.

Now, the WSTA is calling on the government to write the vote outcome into law.

In order to give real assurance to businesses, “It is imperative to pass emergency legislation to put this into effect before 29 March”, WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said.

But even if this is put into law, it doesn’t deal with the long-term issues affecting UK trade.

Today’s vote on delaying the UK's departure from the EU is therefore “vital” for businesses.

“The wine and spirit industry still lacks clarity as to what the trading landscape will look like when we do leave the EU. It is vital, therefore, that MPs vote to extend Article 50 tonight – something that is necessary under all scenarios,” Beale said.

There is still a long process ahead involved in extending Article 50. 

It must be first approved by the EU Council, then passed by MPs and Lords who would vote on changing the date of Brexit in the EU Withdrawal Act. 

If both stages are successful, only then could Brexit be delayed.