Aussie winemakers could be unlikely winner out of Brexit vote

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MELBOURNE, June 28 (PNA/Xinhua) — Australian wine makers could be an unlikely beneficiary of Great Britain’s Brexit vote, as the current EU-sanctioned export costs could be waived if a free trade deal is struck with the United Kingdom.

Great Britain is currently the largest export destination for Australian wine, and the national body, Wine Australia, believes that Brexit could make it less expensive for Australian producers to send their wine to the UK.

Under current EU law, Australian winemakers pay taxes that European winemakers, from regions such as Bordeaux, Barolo and Alsace, do not have to pay, meaning Australian wine is often priced out of the market.

Wine Australia believes the tariffs could be dropped or reduced under a free trade deal with Britain, making Australian wine cheaper to purchase in the UK.

Meanwhile head of the Winemakers Association of Western Australia (WA), Larry Jorgensen, said a tariff reduction for Australian winemakers is not a ‘given’, but said the Winemakers Federation of Australia and Wine Australia would work closely with the Australian government to negotiate favorable trade terms.

“Let’s not forget how big the EU is and the fact that the UK does most of its business with them. I don’t reckon they’re going to compromise too much on that for the sake of old friends,” Jorgensen told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday.

Local winemakers, such as Western Australia’s Larry Cherubino, are optimistic but equally cautious.

“We’re hoping that all these changes augur well for the Australian wine industry in terms of there being a more level playing field between us and the rest of Europe, but we really don’ t know what the outcome is going to be,” Cherubino told the ABC.

“We live in hope, I mean we are farmers after all and we’ve got to be eternally optimistic.”

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