Brexit minister pledges to keep the wine and spirits industry flourishing
Brexit minister David Jones MP has promised he will do everything he can to ensure the drinks industry continues to thrive after Britain leaves the EU.
Jones met the Wine & Spirit Trade Association to discuss how the industry can best protect trade and prosper when the UK leaves the EU.
At this first meeting with the Department for Exiting the EU, the WSTA outlined aims and priorities for future trade with the EU and beyond.
Jones 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.
“It was great to meet with WSTA to hear their views on the upcoming challenges and opportunities, and this continued business engagement is vital if we are to get the best deal for Britain."
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale added: “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.
“We had the opportunity to remind David Jones of the size and contribution made by the wine and spirit industry, which brings in £45.5 billion to the UK economy and provides nearly 600,000 jobs.”
The meeting with David Jones follows discussions with other Brexit departments that have allowed the WSTA to offer its views about the industry’s Brexit priorities.
It will be publishing a detailed Brexit-policy position paper later this month.