Can I still buy wine after Brexit?

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The recent EU Referendum surprised almost everyone with a majority vote for Leave, but that should not be a cause for concern if you want to buy wine produced in other EU member states.

First of all, remember that the result of the referendum is not legally binding - in order to even begin officially leaving the EU, the UK prime minister must invoke Article 50 of the legislation that governs the UK's EU membership.

David Cameron has said he will not do that, which means it is unlikely to happen until he steps down as prime minister in September or October, and there is still no guarantee that his successor will invoke Article 50 immediately, or at all.

Even if Article 50 is invoked, it triggers a minimum of two years of negotiations before the UK formally leaves the EU, during which time the existing trade agreements should remain largely unchanged.

In short, there is nothing to mean that you should not be able to buy wine produced in the EU for at least the next two years.

Beyond that time, if the 'Brexit' process is followed through to its conclusion, new trade agreements should be put in place to allow major import and export markets to continue, which includes sales of wine to the UK from the continent.

Nobody will want to lose such an important market, so any major fine wine company located in the EU is highly likely to continue to trade with the UK on terms very similar to those currently in place.

Remember too that many of the major wine brands are based in Australia or California, while South America produces excellent Malbec, Chardonnay and several other varieties.

As such, you can buy wine from outside of the EU too, with no reason why the result of the EU Referendum should affect these imports; in fact, there is good reason to expect a fine wine company outside of Europe to take this opportunity to trade with the UK on even more competitive terms, leading to even more diversity on the shelves of your local independent wine merchant.

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