WSTA: Brexit extension ‘necessary under all scenarios’

14th March, 2019 by Amy Hopkins

The UK spirits industry has breathed a sigh of relief after MPs voted to reject a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, but has urged parliament to extend Article 50 in another vote later today.

MPs will vote later today on whether to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit deadline

Yesterday, MPs voted by 312 to 308 to reject leaving the European Union under any circumstances.

The vote followed another rejection of UK prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on 12 March. UK trade group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said that while the deal was “flawed”, its rejection cast the drinks industry into “deeper uncertainty”.

Another Commons vote will take place tonight on whether to ask the EU permission to delay Brexit beyond 29 March, a move urged by the WSTA.

If passed, the EU will need to agree the length of the extension.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, welcomed MPs’ rejection of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, which the trade group had been ardently campaigning for, and said it is “imperative to pass emergency legislation to put this into effect before 29 March”.

However, he said the wine and spirits industry “still lacks clarity” over what its trading landscape will look like post-Brexit, meaning MPs should vote to extend Article 50 – a move he said is “necessary under all scenarios”.

“It is now crucial that the government heeds the will of the House and works towards a new consensus,” said Beale.

May will make a third attempt to get her deal through parliament in the next week.

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