Foreign secretary Boris Johnson learns about Brexit impact on wine trade

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

 L-R: Miles Beale, chief executive of WSTA,  Boris Johnson MP, Paul Sorrentino of E&J Gallo Winery.
L-R: Miles Beale, chief executive of WSTA, Boris Johnson MP, Paul Sorrentino of E&J Gallo Winery.

Related tags: International trade

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson MP has been warned about the importance of having Brexit trade deals in place, to safeguard the UK as an international wine hub.

Johnson, who is also MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, toured the UK headquarters of wine producer E&J Gallo earlier this month to learn how Brexit would impact the wine trade.

The visit to the Uxbridge offices, where the company has been operating for 25 years, was organised by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Johnson was told how Gallo, a family-owned US wine company, sent bottle and bulk wine shipments to the UK, with most being sold here and the rest re-exported across Europe and beyond.

International trade

The company showed Johnson that Gallo’s UK operation was an example of how wine-producing countries used the UK as a hub for international trade, supporting more than 270,000 jobs.

He was also told how over 99% of wine consumed in the UK was imported and that just under 60% of wine, by volume, imported into the UK came from outside the EU, with two-thirds of that bottled in the UK.

WSTA ceo Miles Beale called on the government to take the opportunity post-Brexit to enhance trade by removing regulatory barriers, allowing goods to flow more freely between the markets.

Trade flows

“It was great to have an opportunity to impress upon the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, how essential it is that when we leave the EU we have agreements in place which maintain existing trade flows,” ​Beale said.

“Britain needs to hold on to its position as the international hub in the world wine trade to further boost the UK economy and provide more jobs.”

Johnson said: “It has been fantastic to visit another international business that has chosen to locate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.

“After 25 years in Uxbridge, E&J Gallo is an important part of the community and a local employer. I was fascinated to learn of their involvement along the whole supply chain, even owning sand mines to make their own bottles.”

Paul Sorrentino, vice-presdient and general manager at E&J Gallo Winery, said: “It was a pleasure to have Boris Johnson come visit our office. Our EMEA ​[Europe, Middle East & Africa] office is based in Uxbridge and has been for many years, so it was a real delight for the team to meet our local MP.”

Related topics: Regulation

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