WSTA lays out industry requirements in General Election Manifesto

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has launched its manifesto ahead of the upcoming General Election on 8th June.

With 5 key asks of all political parties, the WSTA spotlights a well-managed Brexit, the promotion of free-trade deals, addressing an excessive tax regime, support for tackling alcohol harm and an innovative industrial strategy – all central requirements for the UK’s wine and spirit industry. 

Looking ahead the industry faces uncertainty over Brexit and future trade with the EU, and a strict regulatory regime that places significant burdens on producers and retailers. But there are opportunities for the industry too. There is the potential to continue the boom in British spirits exports and reach new export markets around the world.

The WSTA has the largest and broadest membership of any association in the sector and a team that has the skills, knowledge and relationships to support the next UK government's agenda, including Brexit.


To support the UK wine and spirit industry the WSTA calls on all political parties to:

1. Provide certainty to business via a well-managed Brexit, including sufficient transitional arrangements; and continue to work towards frictionless, tariff free trade with the EU;

2. Promote free trade with non-EU countries, working with the WSTA to develop the best deal for the wine and spirit trade and to promote British produce around the world;

3. Rebalance the excessively high duty burden on UK businesses and consumers by pledging to revise plans to increase wine and spirit duty by 26% (£1.9bn) over 5 years;

4. Support proven approaches to reducing alcohol harm through partnership working and self-regulation; and agree to a moratorium on further regulation;

5. Support the Great British wine and spirit industry by promoting sector deals, under an innovative industrial strategy: for wine and spirits, for food and drink and for British hospitality.

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


“This snap General Election provides a vital opportunity for the UK's world leading wine and spirit industry. We need to communicate to new decision makers what has to be done to ensure that our industry can thrive in today’s new political, economic and social landscape. We will use our manifesto to help the incoming Members of Parliament understand our business needs. Following our lead a new government can help our industry to continue to grow, innovate and contribute to the already significant £50bn worth of economic activity and our ground breaking work to reduce alcohol harm.

"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 priotiy countries outside the EU; and, equally, safe passage of our goods - with no additional checks or delays at borders, even once we have left the Customs Union."


Notes to editors:

  • The WSTA General Election Manifesto can be found here.
  • 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.


For more information please contact:

Lucy Panton - [email protected]

Tel: +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile: + 44 (0) 7776422656

Harriet Talbot [email protected]

Tel +44 (0) 207 0893875

Mobile +44 (0) 7587290720

Twitter @wstauk

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