Wine and Spirits – Challenges in the Context with Brexit
Die britische Weinbranche kämpft hart, um die Folgen des Brexit zu mildern – Mitglieder der Jahreskonferenz der WSTA. (© WSTA)
The British wine industry is struggling hard to mitigate the consequences of the Brexit - members of the WSTA annual conference. (© WSTA)

UK (London) – At the end of January, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) published its annual budget plan. The plan expressed the ambitious aim to convince Prime Minster Theresa May to decrease the tax on wine and spirit trade by two percent as of March, 2017. The reasons, which are known to the economy and to politics, are verbalized once more.


… Der Weinhandel und alle Geschäfte mit Wein zahlen jährlich vier Milliarden an Steuern und zusätzliche 3,2 Milliarden an Steuern werden von den Verbrauchern gezahlt.

(1) Wine businesses and consumers pay £4bn in duty and spirits businesses and consumers a further £3.2bn.

(2) The duty on a bottle of wine is £2.08, meaning that 55% of the cost of the average bottle in shops and super markets is taken up in tax and VAT.

(3) The duty on a 70cl bottle of spirits is £7.26, meaning that 76% of the cost of the average bottle of spirits in shops and supermarkets is taken up by duty and VAT.

(4) Duty rates for wine have increased by 56% since 2007 and spirits duty rates have increased by 41%

(5) UK businesses and consumers pay the 4th highest duty rate for spirits in the EU accounting for a quarter of all Spirits Duties (27.29%).

(6) UK businesses and consumers pay the 3rd highest duty rate for wine in the EU accounting for 68.4% of all duties collected by member states

Icon: Lupe

The WSTA is aware that it is an ambitious claim to reduce taxes on wine and spirits by two percent. But the organization also holds the view the government’s duty to reduce the feared deficit, thus, to alleviate the effects of Brexit. The claim for an adequate compensation is not only expressed by the wine business.

All businesses in the UK are making similar appeals to the government. In particular, the British wine business feels unduly neglected. “Wine is subject to a very high consumption tax and has been more and more negligent for years”, the intern budged plan says reproachfully. “The WSTA expects a triple threatening due to an increasing inflation, in case the government doesn’t give in.”

“I’m convinced we’ll achieve a reduction of taxes on wine and spirits with an unprecedented and concentrated action”, Miles Beale, CEO of WSTA comments the budget plan. “So, we provide contacts between all our members and their representatives so that they can tell them about the problems they fear.” The WSTA is supported by an independent study which evidences that a tax reduction by two percent would increase the economic contribution of the business by 3.4 billion euro to 58 billion euro.

Now, the WSTA members, which are supplied with all information, are challenged to support the claims of their organization towards politicians. One point has become more than clear: Whereas Theresa May is acting according to the motto “Just getting out of the EU”, Britain’s whole economy is making efforts to limit the damage. This is a moment where we think of the Literarische Quartett, which Marcel Reich-Ranicki always finished with: “The curtain drops, and many questions remain unanswered.” (red.yoopress)

sys_pfeil_2015 Please read also this article: Brexit: The Horizon of the World of Wine is Getting Darker​
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