UK drinks association warns its relationship with EU industry bodies may change post-Brexit

By Andrew Burnyeat   Britain’s Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WTSA) has said its formal relationship with pan-European Union (EU) associations could change should the UK government go ahead with its Brexit referendum mandate and quit the EU.

WTSA is a member of SpiritsEUROPE; wine body the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV); and the European Federation of Wine and Spirit Importers and Distributors.

WTSA Spokesperson Lucy Panton said: “We will need to discuss our post-Brexit status with each group – nothing has been decided yet.

“All provide access to debate and policy-making at the EU level. There’s also an international dimension to their work, in that they effectively represent us in product-related trade disputes between the EU and third countries.”

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “Post Brexit there is a danger that leaving the [EU] single market could lead to blockages and disruptions that lose us our position as global leaders. At the WSTA it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Julie Bouveret, CEEV spokesperson said: “Brexit is indeed an issue of concern to us, as we do have a UK member association at CEEV, and we’ll have to figure out in the next months if and how Brexit will impact their membership.”