Brexit: What Does This Mean For Booze?

June 24, 2016

So the majority of Brits decided to leave the EU, but what does the referendum result mean for boozers?

One European thing that we enjoy that you might not realise is most of our drinks. Unless you’re a gin drinker, more than likely, your booze has been made in another country. So what does this mean for our most coveted drinks if Britain decides to leave the EU?

Britain’s wine and spirits industry made £1.8 billion in exports to the EU last year and currently employs over 600,000 people. Drinks trading benefits from the EU’s 35 free trade deal more than 50 countries which makes it easier for brewers and producers to export and import easily around Europe. Now that we have left, international deals would have to be renegotiated.

Now, if you sell drinks to another country in Europe, there are no fees. Some argue that leaving the EU would mean there maybe added tariffs, custom duties or charges to trading. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association conducted a survey of its members and that found that 90% of respondents want the UK to stay in the EU.

Although this may have encouraged some of the drinks industry to vote for a leave, JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin believes that Britain should handle its own policies due to the EU system being undemocratic and designed for a “middle-aged male elite”.

According to Sky News, Matthew Elliot of Vote Leave says that the EU makes drinks more expensive for Britain. “We are the fifth largest economy in the world and should be able to sell whisky freely from Birmingham to Bombay, yet our EU membership prevents us from striking free trade deals with vitally important markets.”

The ex-UK Prime Minister has warned that the drinks industry will be affected by a ‘Brexit’ and would be threatened with potential job and investment losses. Downing Street also claimed that UK gin has improved in quality due to the high EU Standards and wine producers may find it hard to compete with France, Italy and Spain if we were to leave.

So what can we be sure of? Because we have decided to leave the EU, certainly trading will have to renegotiate, making it uncertain whether trading will gain some extra charges, effectively making the price of drinks rise. But then again, they could establish some awesome trade deals across the world, making it easier, more efficient and cheaper to deal. And we might possible be served by less pompus Italians. Basically, no one fucking knows.




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