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'Brexit' and the Drinks Industry

europeSince Great Britain voted to leave the EU, about a year ago, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has had much to say about it. They are concerned that if frictionless borders are not put in place, laborious customs checks will severely delay the importation of wine and spirits and lead to a resurgence in alcohol smugglers. More recently, the CEO said that it was essential the UK secure transitional measures that would allow sufficient time for “necessary systems to be introduced and properly tested” and avoid the UK falling off a cliff without a deal. The UK is the world’s second largest imported wine market and the largest spirits exporter so the Brexit challenge is as acute for the UK as it is for other European countries. On a more positive note, the UK ferry industry hopes that Brexit will provide a welcome boon for the travel retail sector, paving the way for the return of duty-free shopping on board for the first time in 20 years.