UK and Europe remain united over wine

For our trade, the Brexit chapter will bring both challenges and opportunities.

As the UK starts to negotiate its exit from the EU the Wine and Spirit Trade Association calls for a close working relationship with both government and our European neighbours, to protect and strengthen Britain’s trading future.

Trade Association colleagues across the Channel have vowed to keep its “special relationship” with the UK wine and spirit industries and join the fight for a free trade agreement.

The President of Comite Europeen des Entreprises Vins, the trade association representing the remaining 27 member states, branded the UK wine market of the “utmost importance” for EU wine producers.

And the WSTA representing over 300 UK businesses has pledged to “stand together” with European colleagues to maintain its free flows of trade.


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

“The triggering of Article 50 signifies an historic moment as the UK begins a new journey. For our trade, this chapter will bring both challenges and opportunities. The WSTA will be working tirelessly to achieve our key aims: continued, tariff-free movement of wines and spirits to and from the EU; new, tariff-free trade agreements with priority countries outside the EU; and equally safe  passage of goods without extra checks at borders once we have left the Customs Union.

“A phased leaving process will allow time to establish an EU free trade agreement and to put in place the necessary systems and infrastructure.  Failure to do so, risks disruption to supply chains, chaos at UK ports, increases in costs for UK businesses and ultimately even higher prices for consumers.

“We stand together with our European Trade Association partners in our joint ambition to secure free trade flows. We have repeatedly said to Government since the referendum that the only way to achieve its aim for a frictionless Brexit is for the Government and industry to work in partnership.”


Jean Marie Barillère, President of CEEV said:

“EU wines and UK consumers have had a special relationship for centuries and shall continue to have it despite BREXIT. With EU wines representing about 55% of UK wine imports, there is no doubt that the UK market is of utmost importance for EU wine producers, and that the British really appreciate European wines. Ensuring smooth wine trade flows is important to both the EU and the UK economies.”


Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV added:

 “The overall objective of the CEEV is to ensure that there will be no disruption of wine trade flows between the United-Kingdom and the EU-27. To allow business and administrations to adapt to the new system of trade relations - a future EU-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) - it will be fundamental that leaders on both side of the Channel agree on a transitional period and on a FTA in a time frame that will reduce uncertainty as much as possible.”



Notes to editors:

  • The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry, representing over 300 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wine and spirits. The WSTA works with its members to promote responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

  • Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products. It brings together 24 national organisations and its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports.



For more information please contact:

Lucy Panton - l[email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile+ 44 (0) 7776422656

Harriet Talbot [email protected]

Tel +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile +44 (0) 7587290720


Or for more information from Ceev contact:

Dr Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General

[email protected] 

Tel: +32 2 230 99 70

Mobile: +32 476 88 36 75

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