Wine and spirit industries in the UK and EU are uniting to form a plan for trade after Brexit

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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The UK and EU trade groups don't think politicians will do their industry justice in Brexit talks (Source: Getty)

Britain and the EU's wine and spirit industries will work together to create a plan to keep trade intact after Brexit.

“We must ensure politicians on both sides are listening to industry and this is best achieved through a united front," said Miles Beale, chief executive of the UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), speaking at an industry event in Bordeaux.

“With Brexit talks now underway the WSTA is engaging directly with European partners on how we keep trading relationships and flows with the rest of the EU intact.

"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."

The UK and EU have an important wine and spirits trading relationship. Around 50 per cent of all UK wine imports come from Europe, while around 45 per cent of all UK spirit exports by volume go the the EU, worth £1.6bn, according to the WSTA.

The WSTA and the EU wine trade group CEEV said the industry cannot rely on politicians to deliver a Brexit that avoids disruption to existing trade. The groups plan to lobby their governments together with the same script to get the best possible Brexit outcome.

Read more: This is how Theresa May can "empower" British drinks businesses

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