WSTA meets Brexit minister to discuss how to protect trade and prosper

The  Wine and Spirit Trade Association met Brexit minister David Jones last week to discuss how the industry can best protect trade and prosper when the UK leaves the EU.

At the crucial first meeting with the Department for Exiting the EU the WSTA outlined aims and priorities for future trade with the EU and beyond.

This was followed by the WSTA Brexit seminar (Thursday 3rd Nov) where industry came together to agree on what it wants from Brexit and how to achieve it.

The seminar marks the official launch of the WSTA’s Brexit themed working groups focusing on three key areas; International Trade, Exiting the EU and Customs, Logistics and Movement.

At the meeting between WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale and David Jones, they discussed the issues surrounding Brexit that impact on the industry, including movement of skilled workers, terms of trade and opportunities to increase the sector's competitiveness in future.  

David Jones, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the EU said:

"The UK's wine and spirit trade makes a significant contribution to the UK economy - employing hundreds of thousands of people - and we are determined that the industry continues to flourish after we leave the EU.

It was great to meet with WSTA to hear their views on the upcoming challenges and opportunities, and this continued business engagement is vital if we are to get the best deal for Britain."

The WSTA also shared with the Brexit minister its latest discussions with members and other international wine and spirit trade bodies and its plans to develop model trade agreements.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

For a genuinely global industry like wine and spirits, Brexit will bring both challenges and opportunities.

We want to ensure that industry is on the front foot to help government to prepare the best possible case for uninterrupted trade with the EU, and the best possible platform for bilateral trade deals with priority countries.

The proximity of our meeting with David Jones and our own Brexit seminar means we give our members an informed update on how government thinking is developing and how a key minister sees the next phase unfolding.

We also had the opportunity to remind David Jones of the size and contribution made by the wine and spirit industry, which brings in £45.5bn to the UK economy and provides nearly 600,000 jobs.”

The meeting with David Jones follows discussions with other Brexit departments that have allowed the WSTA to offer its views about the industry’s Brexit priorities.

The UK wine and spirit industry is central to the global drinks trade. For example 75% of all global gin exports by volume are British gin.

The UK is a key hub in the international trade of wine and is the second biggest importer of wine by volume (behind Germany) and value (behind USA) in the world.).

The WSTA will be publishing its detailed Brexit-policy position paper later this month.

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