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Boris Johnson shows support for UK drinks sector

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has shown his support for the UK wine and spirits industry at an event in Westminster.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson toasted the success of the British wine and spirits industry

The Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip was speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s (APPG) Christmas drinks reception in Westminster earlier this week.

Johnson was one of many VIP guests at the reception, which discussed how the UK government can support the wine and spirit industry. Guests sampled a range of British gins, vodkas and Irish whiskey, as well as English and Californian wines.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “It has been a busy year for the WSTA including crucial talks with trade partners and members on how best to prepare for all forms of Brexit and two Budgets. The Wine and Spirit APPG Christmas drinks reception was a great way to end an eventful year.”

He continued: “It gave the WSTA team an opportunity to have an informal chat with numerous MPs, many of whom have vineyards, distilleries and wine and spirit businesses in their constituencies. I am pleased to report they were interested and keen to find out more about the UK wine and spirit trade and how they can support us, so bring on a merry Christmas and happy 2018.”

The event, held at Portcullis House, brought together MPs and peers from across the parties to meet with the UK’s wine and spirit producers.

Chair of the wine and spirits APPG, Tim Loughton, said politicians should serve British whenever possible to help the trade grow.

Loughton added: “The UK wine and spirit industry supports over 550,000 jobs and contributes £50 billion to the UK economy. It is hugely important to remind members of parliament that to allow industry to invest and grow it needs our support. MPs and officials can start by making it their new year’s resolution to serve British at all events and receptions.”

Earlier this year, the WSTA successfully campaigned against a rise in spirits duty in the November budget. 

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