London MP Andy Slaughter says that following the triggering of Article 50, the British government must work closely with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association to ensure the ‘smooth flow’ of trade.
MP Slaughter said: “Government need to be doing more to address the concerns of the industries like wine importers who rely on the smooth flow of trade with the EU.
“Without frictionless trade we could see industry grinding to a halt and some of the 270,000 people employed by the UK wine industry could find themselves out of a job.”
The WSTA has also called for the UK government to work closely with the EU to protect Britain’s trading future.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: “We have repeatedly said to Government since the referendum that the only way to achieve its aim for a frictionless Brexit is for the Government and industry to work in partnership.”
Scottish Whisky is the largest sector of British alcohol exported from the UK and Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, holds a similar cirteria to WSTA.
Hesketh-Laird said: “We want the UK Government to pursue as open a trade policy as possible; secure continued robust protection of scotch; transpose relevant EU single market legislation into UK lawand retain the preferential market access that scotch whisky receives under existing EU Free Trade Agreements."
Jean Marie Barillère, president of Comite Europeen des Entreprises Vins, the trade association representing the remaining 27 EU member states, believes the UK wine market is the “utmost importance” for EU wine producers.
Barillere said: “With EU wines representing about 55% of UK wine imports, there is no doubt that the UK market is of utmost importance for EU wine producers, and that the British really appreciate European wines.
“Ensuring smooth wine trade flows is important to both the EU and the UK economies.”