Brexit to Cause UK Wine Drought?
Countless lorries full of wine could be parked in UK ports if ‘clear and workable mechanisms to allow cross-border trade’ are not in place the moment the UK exits the European Union, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has warned, according to Decanter.
The WSTA argued that if the UK leaves the customs union as well as the single market, customs from the EU will need to be declared and lead to backlogs of shipments in ports.
Ministers on Wednesday (March 29, 2017) will trigger Article 50 to kick off the start of Britain’s negotiations with EU leaders over such issues.
The UK is the second largest importer of wine by volume, after Germany, said the WSTA.
The majority of wine imports into the UK arrive by ship, and then are distributed nationwide by lorry.
The British Port of Dover handles 290 lorries full of goods every hour which works out to one every 12.4 seconds, said the WSTA.
WSTA customs expert David Richardson said: “The UK is the most important country in the global wine and spirit trade and criminals will find alternative methods of getting alcohol in.
“It’s big business for Britain and it is vital government maintains the free flow of trade between the UK and Europe and reassures industry with an early solution.”