WSTA urges UK Government for fully negotiated Brexit 'divorce' settlement
The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has stated that the UK Government needs to 'pull out all the stops' during Brexit talks to gain a negotiated settlement with the EU.
The trade association, which represents more than 300 wines and spirits firms in the country, has added that a failed negotiation with the EU would be “totally unacceptable”.
The WSTA warned that Brexit may lead to a decline in trade with Europe and therefore, UK must look at non-EU trading partners.
WSTA's chief executive officer (CEO) Miles Beale said: “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. 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 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.”
Currently, UK is the second largest importer of wine in terms of both volume and value in the world. It is also the largest exporter of spirits in the world. Its wine and spirits industry supports around 296,000 direct and indirect jobs.