A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey of over 2,900 UK exporters shows export sales fell 41 percent during the first quarter of 2021, in large part due to Brexit. (At time of publication, this figure dropped to 28% in the second quarter survey).
“The UK imports around half, 55 percent, of their wine from the EU,” adds Miles Beale, chief executive of Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA). “The UK wine and spirit industry, as a whole, generates £49bn (€57bn/$69bn) in revenue, and supports 360,000 jobs.”
“It is difficult to ascertain the full impact of Brexit on the industry due to our limited experience of it since 1 January, including Covid and ongoing negotiations,” continues Beale. “However, it is clear that businesses in many industries are struggling to move goods across borders, due to a range of issues – some teething problems, some more fundamental.”
What about wine exports? “London has been the center of trade in top wines of Europe for centuries,” says David Parker, CEO of Benchmark Wine Group, a worldwide fine and rare wine retailer, and president of the National Association of Wine Retailers. “With it being separated financially from the producing countries of Europe – France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and others – by Brexit, we expect costs to rise for wine that continues to trade through the UK, and alternative sourcing directly from the continent to become more dominant.”