Like many I really thought that the UK would vote to remain in the EU. Now there will be lots of discussion with regards to what the implications are on a whole load of matters. Somehow I do not think that the the drinks industry, already hit hard by loads of extra taxes and administration burdens (imposed by our own successive governments), will not be top of the list of priorities post the Brexit vote. I dare say there will be an impact on the wine trade at large.
What the impact of the YES vote will be and the impact on the UK is unknown. As all the financial experts are saying its going to take years for stability to return and I suspect that will be long after we invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. As far as I am concerned it is business as usual. As I said on the previous post, as an importer, what I need is a stable pound. The initial prophecy of a falling pound against the Euro and dollar has come true and will hit all importers regardless of the industry. Whilst most wine businesses have currency reserves to keep things stable in a few months this will run out.
Some people may think that a weak pound will be good for the global wine producers. While it may become cheaper for them to sell to our market, the products will become more expesive here and perhaps the consumers will look to switch products. Perhaps there will be a move towards supporting UK wine making industry? I have already heard rumblings from producers regarding cutting duty on UK wines so we can support home grown products.
So now we are back in the hands of the negotiators who ever they may be. How wines will be brought and shipped around the world will be down to the government and what deals they can strike with the wine producing countries as well as the World Trade Organisation over the next few years. Who knows what will happen.
As the unknown world continues how will our EU producers treat us? Well before the Brexit debate I have seen over the past 10 years suppliers move to sell more to China, Russia and Central Asia. In recent years these markets have turned their back on European producers and I have illiberally had producers back asking us to sell more of their wines where before they had sought opportunities else where. The UK as a mature wine market as now been seen as safe bet.
The question is now whether will they again turn their back on the UK market. I hope that they will see that it is in all of our interest to keep the UK in its role as a vital export hub to showcase all wines regardless of the countries of origin. Only time will tell if we get a protectionist or open minded government but as far as I am concerned it is be positive, keep calm and carry on!