Why leaving the EU could affect the price of beer and wine in the UK

You may want to stock up on Stella Artois and Chardonnay while the going is good.

JD Wetherspoon beer pint
Pint Time for a (pricey) drink? Image Picture Matt Cardy/Getty

Nigel Farage will undoubtedly be indulging in a pint or two today, following the news that the United Kingdom is the leave the European Union, but he should enjoy those beers while he can.

Because Brexit could bring with it a major hike in prices for beer and wine across the country and that’s news that is unlikely to spread much in the way of cheer among the 17 million who voted leave.

Figured estimate that drinkers could end up paying around £5 per person more a month – and those figures are only based on moderate alcohol drinkers.

For the more habitual pub goer, the costs could be even worse with the costs of importing alcoholic drinks potentially rising by 3% as a result of Brexit.

That’s before we even get to the potential increases UK could face when it comes to taxes on alcohol too with government figures estimating a potential 5% increase in the wake of the decision.

Brexit won’t just affect imports either with David Cameron previously warning of the impact leaving the EU will have on the UK’s alcohol industry.

Cheers Nigel!
Cheers Nigel! The UKIP leader in happier times Image Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Companies working in the alcohol industry currently benefit from around 35 free trade deals struck by the EU which allows them to sell beer, wine and spirits across more than 50 countries.

Without these deals in place, businesses could be forced to increase prices domestically in a bid to make up any shortfall suffered.

The dropping value of the pound could also hit the wine industry and, as a result, the price of your average glass of Sauvignon Blanc, as Majestic Wines’ Rowan Gormley explained to The Independent.

“If a Brexit does happen and that results in the sustained fall in value of the pound, all imported products will have to go up in cost over time and wine will be no exception to that,” he said.

Many within the Leave campaign have pointed to the potential for the UK to negotiate new trade deals around alcohol with the wider world, free from the conceived constraints of the EU.

However, such plans have, as yet, little weight to them meaning it may be time to stock up on beer, wine and other spirits over the next two years before the big price increase hits our wallets and our alcohol consumption.

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