WSTA urges government to secure a post-Brexit future for the drinks trade

Jacopo Mazzeo

Jacopo Mazzeo

07 May 2020

The chief executive of the UK Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA), Miles Beale, wrote a letter to chancellor Michael Gove MP outlining the trade body’s asks and priorities to secure a future for the UK’s wine and spirit trade post-Brexit

The letter features four key points that the government is urged to act on:

  • A two-year implementation period for labelling changes from 1 January 2021
  • Suspension of import certificates for all wine (VI1s) from 1 January 2021 pending review of need for import certification
  • Commitment to removing unnecessary regulation which ‘stifles innovation’, such as on the definition of flavoured gin and on the use of the terms ‘lower, low and no alcohol’
  • Commitment to join the World Wine Trade Group

‘While we stand fully behind the government’s aim of securing a comprehensive future partnership agreement with the EU, many of the outcomes we are proposing are not dependent on securing a deal – nor would there be any loss of negotiating capital if the government were to support UK businesses now in the ways we suggest,’ said Beale.

‘Our asks are therefore an easy win and would allow us to secure a better future which keeps the UK as the global hub for the wine and spirit trade. By committing to act now, the government would provide a welcome boost to the sector in these unprecedented and uncertain times.’

Alongside the letter, the WSTA launched the Trade 21 portal, aimed to help the trade prepare for Brexit.

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