Since the referendum, the WSTA has been working closely with Government to help mitigate the impact of Brexit and with the industry to help prepare businesses for all eventualities.
The UK acts as a hub for the world wine and spirit industry, and wine and spirits are the biggest food and drink export. Of wine consumed in the UK, 99% is imported – roughly half from the EU and half from third countries. For spirits, gin is the fastest growing food and drink export, reaching over £600 million last year and still with major potential to continue growing. This is why Brexit is such an important part of the WSTA’s agenda.
Furthermore, high inflation means that wine and spirit businesses have already had to deal with a painful 3.9% increase in duty in March 2017 at a time when the business environment was volatile, this volatility remains today.
As inflation remains high, so does the burden on businesses.The OBR forecasts that that wine and spirit businesses will have to pay an additional £1.2bn in alcohol duty per year by 2023, such a burden would significantly affect the industry and would restricts ambitions to invest and further innovate and also to fulfil export aspirations.
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