As secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Wine and Spirits, the WSTA invited MPs and Peers to an annual Christmas gathering to learn more from our members about the industry.
WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale said:
“We are proud to say that the annual event is becoming a premium date in the calendar at Westminster and offers a great chance to discuss the industry issues in a convivial setting.
2016 has been a challenging year and it seems appropriate to end it with a reminder of how important the UK wine and spirit industry is to the global market.
It was great to see so many WSTA members and politicians coming together in a relaxed atmosphere to discuss the issues crucial to the trade and present them with our Brexit Policy Paper.
A big thank you to all our members who donated some of the finest examples of beverages the wine and spirit industry has to offer.”
The Chair of the APPG for Wine and Spirits Tim Loughton MP welcomed guests and WSTA Chairman Dan Jago summarised the year, which included celebrations for the Queen’s 90th and commiserations for many following the Brexit vote.
Dan gave praise to the successes of the industry in 2016, which despite the uncertainties brought about by Brexit and the fall of the pound, has still managed to see growth in exports and innovation.
Miles Beale thanked Tim and Dan and gave guests a taster of what was to come as he introduced the stars of the show, the WSTA drinks, featuring English sparkling wine, British gin, ports, liqueurs and a Christmas vodka.
All the wines and spirits were matched with Christmas canapés accompanied by a booklet of tasting notes to help guests learn more about the premium products on offer.
Tim Loughton MP praised the work of the WSTA and its members highlighting their important contribution to the UK economy, he said:
“The wine and spirit industry supports nearly 600,000 jobs and contributes £45bn to the economy. It is a hugely important industry and needs government support.”
MPs were given a copy of the newly published WSTA Brexit paper – ‘The road ahead for the wine and spirit industry’ – establishing how best to meet and the challenges and exploit the opportunities of leaving the EU.
We are delighted to have enjoyed the company of dozens of cross-party MPs and Peers, including Diane Abbott MP, Sir Peter Bottomley, Maria Caulfield MP and Sharon Hodgson MP.