WSTA tells UK govt ‘Don’t Bottle It’ over Brexit

21st November, 2018 by Melita Kiely

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is pleading with the UK government not to leave the European Union without a deal in its latest campaign: Don’t Bottle It.

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Miles Beale, WSTA chief executive, says the UK leaving the EU without a deal “would result in chaos”

It comes off the back of UK prime minister Theresa May’s call to “listen to business” and fears the UK is “still in danger” of ending up with a “disastrous ‘no deal’ Brexit”.

Since the referendum in 2016, the WSTA has campaigned for a Brexit deal that will allow “frictionless trade in goods”, “sufficient labour supply” and a transition period that lasts until at least 2020.

It argues that before the transition period ends, it must be replaced by the “most ambitious of free trade deals with other parts of the world”.

The WSTA stressed a ‘no deal’ scenario must “explicitly be ruled out as the worst possible outcome”.

To support the Don’t Bottle It campaign, the WSTA has launched a website – dontbottleit.co.uk – which outlines its views on why establishing a deal with the EU is “so crucial” to the wine and spirits industry.

These include its stance that a ‘no deal’ departure would cause delays at the border, restrict movement of people, create cash flow challenges for businesses, and create “massive uncertainty” for businesses and consumers alike.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “The UK wine and spirit industry is a world leading £50 billion industry which does half of its trade with the EU.

“With the launch of our Don’t Bottle It campaign, our message to parliament is that a ‘no deal’ is totally unacceptable.

“It would fail to deliver what we have asked for consistently since the referendum and there is now simply not enough time to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit without causing serious damage to UK businesses. As we have said since the referendum, the clock is ticking and it has now all but run down.

“Despite the businesses we represent putting in place contingency measures as best they can, a ‘no deal’ Brexit presents a multitude of difficulties which are outside of their control.

“Leaving the EU without a deal would result in chaos and inflict painful damage on these businesses. We are calling on parliament to ensure the UK does not leave the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019 – #NoToNoDeal.”

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