WSTA: ‘No-deal’ Brexit will cause ‘chaos’ at ports

11th January, 2019 by Melita Kiely

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has warned that ports handling the movement of alcohol into and out of the UK are “likely to descend into chaos” in the result of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Brexit

The WSTA said leaving the EU without a deal would lead to “chaos” at ports

The WSTA cautioned that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario would mean the UK would lose access to the EU’s excise movement control system (EMCS), which tracks alcohol coming into and going out of the country, and documents shipments electronically.

If a deal is not reached before the UK departs the EU – which is currently scheduled for 29 March – “ports are likely to descend into chaos”, the trade body said.

The WSTA also called for clarity from the UK government on its post ‘no-deal’ tariff plans, warning it would “see wine prices hit an all-time high”.

Companies are already stockpiling in preparation for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, with Direct Wines importing an additional two million bottles – around a 40% increase – on its usual stock.

Bibendum has also outlined a “robust Brexit plan”, which includes ordering “significant” extra stocks.

The WSTA has been advising members for more than a year to increase their stock by 20% as a starting point in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

In November last year, the WSTA launched a campaign, called Don’t Bottle It, urging the UK government not to allow a “disastrous ‘no-deal’ Brexit”.

The WSTA said a deal with the EU would be “crucial to the prospects of the UK’s world leading wine and spirit industry”.

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