Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Wine and spirit businesses welcome the Windsor Framework Agreement

Published:  03 March, 2023

The Windsor Framework Agreement, a system designed to facilitate the movement of goods from GB to Ireland post-Brexit has been welcomed by the UK wine and spirit businesses.

The new protocol will allow goods destined to stay in Northern Ireland to pass through a ‘green lane’, minimising various custom checks.

As presented to parliament, the 29-page agreement states that it will remove more than 60 EU food and drink rules in the original protocol covering well over 1,000 pages of law.

Point 21 under ‘Agrifood’ clarifies: “UK standards will also apply more broadly for this trade, covering rules on public health, marketing, organics, labelling, genetic modification and drinks such as wines, spirits and mineral waters.”

Welcoming Monday’s agreement, Miles Beale, CEO of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “The UK government and EU commission are to be congratulated. On the face of it the solution offered in the ‘Windsor Framework’ appears to offer a pragmatic solution that respects the integrity of the UK, the Good Friday Agreement and also the EU Single Market.

“The introduction of green lanes for a wide range of goods destined for Northern Ireland should remove many of the additional checks and balances that the Northern Ireland Protocol introduced when the UK left the EU. For businesses, this means less paperwork which prevents products being pulled from the shelves and avoids unnecessary price rises for consumers.

“As ever though, the devil is in the detail and we will need to study the text thoroughly in the coming days to ensure a fair treatment for wine and spirits shipped between GB and NI.” 

Steve Finlan, CEO of the Wine Society, added: “Post Brexit we found we had a very real problem getting wine over to Northern Ireland and even with the easement it felt like a sword of Damocles was hanging over the whole process. This solution seems very workable and with clarity and a sense of certainty and consistency it will make a real difference.” 

Philippa Strub, UK CEO, Laithwaites, said: “We are hugely relieved that the Windsor Framework provides a long term solution so that our customers in Northern Ireland can continue to access the same wide range of Laithwaites products without the risk of added costs and bureaucracy of having to complete customs declarations for wines shipped to their homes.

"I applaud all involved in the negotiations from both UK and EU for their hard work and determination to get this deal over the line. I hope it can be formally agreed in the coming weeks and provide much needed certainty for all businesses that trade with the island of Ireland.”

You can read the Windsor Framework Agreement in full here.