The last few months of work have been dominated by Coronavirus – and rightly so. This, however, has meant both the WSTA and Government has put Brexit on the backburner. But deadlines are looming – we have less than eight weeks until July 1st, the latest date at which the UK can request an extension to the Transition, and the Government is adamant we will be leaving at the end of the year.
It is therefore imperative that we get back to business and get some much needed clarity for the sector. And so last week, we launched our new Trade-21 initiative (no, not Brexit – that word is now banned!). We announced the hub at the first in a series of Brexit webinars, which helped get members back up to speed and answered some burning questions.
The hub can be found on our website, and offers both positive solutions to Government and gives members guidance on how to prepare for the end of the year. Obviously we don’t have all the answers yet* and the Government could still reach a deal or ‘negotiated no deal’, whereby agreement is reached in some areas, with the EU, but the briefings we’ve produced look to outline steps businesses could take right away to mitigate the risks associated with the end of the Transition period at the end of the year, whatever the terms of the future relationship are.
The site also highlights some “easy wins”, i.e. steps Government could take right now to boost certainty, which aren’t contingent on whether we reach a deal with the EU or not, such as:
- Committing to removing/ or not introducing unnecessary bureaucratic burdens on 1 January 2021 – in particular suspend import certification requirements for wine;
- Committing to removing unnecessary regulation which stifles innovation, for example establish new rules for the definition of flavoured gin and the use of the terms lower, low- and no-alcohol; and
- Demonstrating the UK is serious about international trade by committing to join the World Wine Trade Group.
We’d love your feedback. What have we missed? What more can we do to help you? Get in touch at Rebekah@Wsta.co.uk and let us know.
*we’re working on that…