The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has said that the industry is united in its aim to keep the European wine trade flowing after Brexit.
Speaking at Vinexpo in Bordeaux this week, WSTA chief executive Miles Beale discussed what the UK's political move will mean for the industry.
“With Brexit talks now under way, the WSTA is engaging directly with European partners on how we keep trading relationships and flows with the rest of the EU intact," said Beale.
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"As an industry, we are all in this together. Any disruption of trade is bad for businesses on both sides of the Channel. It is the joint ambition of the UK and European wine and spirit industry to secure free trade flows, and we have agreed to make this clear demand to all our politicians," he said.
The WSTA says that the UK and EU wine and spirit trades are working together, agreeing that the industry cannot rely on politicians to deliver a Brexit that avoids disruption to the market.
“It is very encouraging to see Philip Hammond has heard our views, and those of other industries, and realised the need for a transitional period, to allow time to agree and prepare new and equally frictionless customs arrangements," said Beale.
"Brexit for Britain means both meeting our obligations and securing a comprehensive agreement for trade in goods and services. We must ensure politicians on both sides are listening to industry, and this is best achieved through a united front," he said.
"Vinexpo showed how much support there is from the European wine industry for a negotiated outcome. It’s not about geography or politics. A successful Brexit is essential for the livelihoods of everyone in our industry," said Beale.
UK Wine Trade
The WSTA warned earlier this week that a 'cliff-edge Brexit' would be bad for both the UK and the rest of Europe.
Around 50% of all UK wine imports come from the EU, and exports to the UK account for 25% of all EU wine exports. France is the UK's largest wine-trading partner by value, with a relationship worth £1 billion in 2015.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Sarah Harford.