Wednesday 11 September 2019 5:36 pm

South African drinkers get their whisky fix with post-Brexit trade deal

The whisky will keep flowing in Cape Town’s bars and restaurants even after Brexit as the UK initialled a trade deal with South Africa and its neighbours.

The economic partnership agreement, which has been agreed in principle, with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique will give British business access to a major African market.

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Britain exported around £136m of beverages, including whisky, to the bloc last year, the government said.

It is part of an overall trading relationship between the UK and the customers partners, worth around £9.7bn last year.

“This trade agreement, once it is signed and takes effect, will allow businesses to keep trading after Brexit without any additional barriers,” said international trade secretary Liz Truss.

The minister, famed for a speech where she said it is a “disgrace” that Britain imports two thirds of its cheese, said the deal is a “major milestone” as the UK becomes an independent trading nation.

On top of whisky, British business also sends £409m of mechanical appliances to the countries, and £335m of motor vehicles.

We import £547m of fruit and nuts and £409m of motor vehicles from the region.

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The deal is based on the pre-existing arrangement between the EU and the bloc, with some small changes,. It is expected to be laid in front of parliament after it returns.

“Breaking down barriers to trade helps create millions of new jobs and economic growth, delivering opportunities for the world’s poorest to move beyond aid dependency to become our trading partners of the future,” said international development secretary Alok Sharma.