News in brief: British wine, export drives, EU, Brexit

News in brief
News in brief

Export drive for British wine

Britain’s wine producers are set to pledge a tenfold increase in exports by 2020, helping to increase their value to over £30 million.

The new targets come after the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss called the first ever wine roundtable bringing together producers and leading wine industry representatives to celebrate the worldwide success of UK wine and agree to boost future production and open up new export opportunities.

These include:

  • A 10-fold increase in wine exports, increasing from 250,000 bottles to 2.5 million bottles by 2020. In terms of value, this would be an export increase from £3.2 million to over £30 million by 2020
  • An ambition to grow the area of planted vineyards from 2000 hectares to 3000 hectares by 2020
  • An increase in production from 5 million bottles per year to up to 10 million bottles by 2020
  • Access to new data on soil types, water resources, and infrastructure networks to identify the best areas of land are for production.

Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss said: “Our goal is to harness the ambition of our English wine producers by flying the flag for British produce internationally and exploiting the huge potential for increasing exports. I have no doubt we can take on the Australians, French and Italians at their own game, exporting more of our top quality fizz across the globe and ensuring that the UK’s wine industry continues to be a world-leader.”

Remaining in the EU is best for the motor industry

The majority of members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which represents the breadth of UK automotive businesses, from car and CV makers to parts suppliers and aftermarket companies, say remaining in the EU is best for their business. The sector supports 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributes £15.5 billion to the UK economy.

Around 77% of SMMT members surveyed said that if a referendum were held tomorrow, a ‘remain’ outcome would be best for their business, according to ComRes, who were commissioned to carry out the independent poll. It’s a sentiment shared by 88% of large automotive companies who are SMMT members and 73% of SME members, with small and medium-sized businesses making up around three quarters of respondents (72%). Only a minority (9%) say leaving would be best, less than the proportion who are uncertain (14% don’t know). Notably, no large companies surveyed said an exit would be in their business’ best interests.

Delving into the reasons why the EU is important to them, SMMT members are most likely to say that access to EU automotive markets has a positive impact on their business (66%). This is followed by a majority saying that access to a skilled workforce (55%) and the ability to influence industry standards and regulations (52%) also have a positive impact on their business.