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WSTA tackles Brexit minister
Published:  10 November, 2016

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association says it met Brexit minister David Jones last week to discuss how the industry can best protect trade and prosper when the UK leaves the EU.

At the first meeting with the Department for Exiting the EU the WSTA outlined aims and priorities for future trade with the EU and beyond. 

This was followed by the WSTA Brexit seminar (Thursday Nov 3) where industry came together to agree on what it wants from Brexit and how to achieve it.
The seminar marks the official launch of the WSTA’s Brexit themed working groups focusing on three key areas; International Trade, Exiting the EU and Customs, Logistics and Movement.
At the meeting between WSTA chief executive Miles Beale (pictured) and Jones, they discussed the issues surrounding Brexit that impact on the industry, including movement of skilled workers, terms of trade and opportunities to increase the sector's competitiveness in future.
David Jones, minister of state at the Department for Exiting the EU said: "The UK's wine and spirit trade makes a significant contribution to the UK economy - employing hundreds of thousands of people - and we are determined that the industry continues to flourish after we leave the EU.”
The WSTA says it also shared with the Brexit minister its latest discussions with members and other international wine and spirit trade bodies and its plans to develop model trade agreements.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “For a genuinely global industry like wine and spirits, Brexit will bring both challenges and opportunities.
We want to ensure that industry is on the front foot to help government to prepare the best possible case for uninterrupted trade with the EU, and the best possible platform for bilateral trade deals with priority countries.
The proximity of our meeting with David Jones and our own Brexit seminar means we give our members an informed update on how government thinking is developing and how a key minister sees the next phase unfolding.
“We also had the opportunity to remind David Jones of the size and contribution made by the wine and spirit industry, which brings in £45.5bn to the UK economy and provides nearly 600,000 jobs.”
The associations says the meeting with Jones follows discussions with other Brexit departments that have allowed the WSTA to offer its views about the industry’s Brexit priorities.
The WSTA says the UK wine and spirit industry is central to the global drinks trade. For example, 75% of all global gin exports by volume are British gin.
The UK is a key hub in the international trade of wine and is the second biggest importer of wine by volume (behind Germany) and value (behind US) in the world.).
The WSTA will be publishing its detailed Brexit-policy position paper later this month.