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Brexit pain as wine prices rise further, says trade

There has been no let-up in the run of price rises on wine since the UK voted to leave the European Union and the pain may be about to get worse, according to the latest figures from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

The average price of a bottle of wine in the UK rose to £5.58 between the Chancellor’s Budget in March and 17 June 2017, up 4% on the previous year, said the WSTA.

Its statement coincided with Parliament’s first reading of a Brexit divorce bill that would transfer EU rules into UK law.

Average wine prices had already passed the £5.50 mark for the first time in the final three months of 2016, according to figures from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

While this run of price rises may not immediately impact drinkers of premium and fine wines, the WSTA warned that the entire industry is facing a ‘triple whammy’ of price pressures going into the autumn.

‘For the first time we can see the how prices have been affected by the triple whammy resulting from Brexit’s impact on the pound, rising inflation and the 3.9% inflationary duty rise on alcohol imposed by the Chancellor at his Budget in March,’ said the WSTA, which is holding its annual conference in London today (12 September).

‘I am sad to say the pain doesn’t end here,’ said the WSTA’s chief executive, Miles Beale.

‘The Autumn Budget is set to see alcohol duty rise by inflation once again,’ he added, calling for a ‘time out’ on tax rises.

The WSTA said that it commissioned a YouGov poll that found four out of every five respondents concerned about the prospect of paying higher prices for food and drink.

The WSTA has committed to working with the government in order to achieve the best possible deal in Brexit negotiations.

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