WSTA calls for ‘full’ Brexit divorce settlement

19th June, 2017 by Kristiane Sherry

The UK government must “pull out all the stops” during Brexit negotiations to secure a negotiated divorce settlement with the EU, as failure to do so would be “totally unacceptable”, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has said.

With Brexit talks between the association’s native UK and the European Union (EU) set to get underway in Brussels today, WSTA chief executive Miles Beale has urged stakeholders to pursue an agreement to avoid a “cliff-edge, no-deal Brexit”, the “worst possible outcome”.

“While there has been a great deal of speculation over recent days about what the election result means for Brexit negotiations, the WSTA’s position remains unchanged,” Beale said.

“We have long argued for a negotiated deal, including a full divorce settlement and agreement on the terms of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU.

“It is essential that the UK secures transitional measures allowing sufficient time for the necessary systems to be introduced and properly tested. Ideally a transition period would allow the UK to agree a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU and then to make good progress on other bilateral FTAs with our major trading partners. Such a transition would give businesses time to prepare fully for a post-EU trading environment.”

The UK us the largest exporter of spirits in the world, with the sector supporting 296,000 jobs in the country, WSTA figures show.

The WSTA says it is already engaging with European trading partners and the UK government should be doing the same.

“Failure to agree terms resulting in a cliff-edge ‘no deal’ Brexit would be the worst possible outcome and totally unacceptable,” Beale continued.

This would inevitably lead to disruption to trade flows in the short-term and significant uncertainty for business in the medium term – until trade deals with the EU and the UK’s other major trading partners could be agreed.

“EU politicians have a responsibility to our industry to deliver a Brexit that in no way disrupts the long established trading patterns on which we all rely.”

Earlier this year the WSTA warned the UK Government to expect “an influx” of booze bootleggers if custom controls are applied to goods imported from the European Union.

Leave a Reply