The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), in its letter to the UK government, has outlined key priorities to ensure that the industry gets the best deal after the Brexit transition period, which will come to an end on 31 December.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale outlines the priorities in written a letter to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove.

In the letter, WSTA chief executive urged the government to ensure that the UK remains at the centre of the world’s wine and spirit trade, as it generates nearly £50bn in economic activity supporting UK businesses and jobs.

Beale said: “While we stand fully behind the government’s aim of securing a comprehensive future partnership agreement with the EU, many of the outcomes we are proposing are not dependent on securing a deal, nor would there be any loss of negotiating capital if the Government were to support UK businesses now in the ways we suggest.

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“Our asks are therefore an easy win and would allow us to secure a better future which keeps the UK as the global hub for the wine and spirit trade. By committing to act now, the Government would provide a welcome boost to the sector in these unprecedented and uncertain times.”

In his letter, Beale asked the government to introduce a two-year implementation period for labelling changes from 1 January 2021, as well as suspend import certificates for all wine (VI1s), and also asked the government to remove regulations that can stifle innovation.

Additionally, WSTA asked the government to join the World Wine Trade Group.

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Beale added: “The wine and spirit industry is in a good position to take advantage of the new opportunities leaving the EU presents, but if Government doesn’t deliver it will be venturing into a new trading landscape with its hands tied behind its back.”

Additionally, WSTA launched its Trade 21 website hub to outline its vision for the UK’s wine and spirit industry.

Last month, WSTA came up with a three-point plan to ease the burden on wine and spirit businesses due to coronavirus (Covid-19), outlined in its letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.