Industry association welcomes Brexit progress

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has given a thumbs up to progress announced in negotiations for the UK’s departure from the EU. Commenting on the EU27’s agreement to negotiating guidelines recommending a transitional Brexit deal chief executive Mike Beale said: “We welcome the latest progress in negotiations between the UK and the EU. The agreement to a draft legal text has demonstrated goodwill on both sides and is a decisive step towards providing the certainty that businesses in the wine and spirit sector crave. The WSTA has long called for a transitional period.

“We also welcome the agreement of the EU27 to negotiating guidelines on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Since October 2016 the WSTA has argued in favour of continued tariff and quota free access to and from the EU’s single market – which the text rightly aims to deliver.”

However, he warned: “It is imperative that politicians do not stop here or rest on their laurels. As the UK is being constantly reminded, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This means that politicians on both sides of the Channel must, as a matter of urgency, find a mutually acceptable solution for the island of Ireland and agree detailed, practical customs arrangements on which the movement of goods to and from the rest of the EU rely.

“It is only in this way that businesses in the wine and spirit industry will have the certainty they need to plan effectively for the future.”