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Drinks

Britain's WSTA Calls On Government To Urgently Define Brexit Withdrawal

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, which represents the wine and spirit industries in the UK, has called on the British government to urgently define the terms of its withdrawal agreement with the EU, to avoid a no-deal scenario.

The WSTA was commenting following last week's publication of an EU Commission paper outlining how businesses should prepare for a hard Brexit.

It said that it has already been offering its members advice on how to deal with such a scenario, adding that the government's advice is long overdue.

Moving Forward

"The WSTA welcomes the EU Commission’s communication to help business prepare for a no-deal Brexit," said WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

"We have, for some time now, been working with wine and spirits companies to both identify risks ahead of the possibility of a no-deal scenario, and to consider what action companies might take to mitigate those risks," added Beale.

He added that while the government's efforts to inform businesses on the effects of Brexit, through a series of 70 technical notes, is a positive step, Theresa May's cabinet is "way behind the curve" in terms of meeting deadlines.

"The clock is still ticking if the withdrawal agreement is to be signed off at October’s European Summit – less than three months away," Beale said.

"While we acknowledge the importance of contingency planning, the government must not lose sight of the most important objective – to secure a negotiated outcome from Brexit talks, including a transition period that gives businesses time to adjust to the new landscape," he added.

Beale further stated that the WSTA is firm in its belief that no deal "would be bad for both business and consumers".

Elsewhere, the WSTA has announced that it has added two new names to its board, appointing Jeremy Shepherd from Brown-Forman and Mark Riley from Edrington-Beam Suntory UK.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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