MP believes English wine can ‘oil wheels of Brexit’

Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani has called for English wines to be served at diplomatic events to help “oil the wheels of the Brexit negotiations”.

England’s green and pleasant land (and the wines made from it) should be used as a marketing tool post Brexit

As reported by the BBC, Ghani believes the UK is currently missing a trick in countries like Japan, India, China and Singapore where wine consumption is on the rise. She believes serving English and Welsh wines at diplomatic events will help to promote the UK’s image abroad.

“As we leave the EU we must grasp every opportunity to find new markets for our products around the world and be imaginative in supporting them,” she said.

“I look forward to the very best of our wines creating a splash in Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Rome and perhaps helping to oil the wheels of the Brexit negotiations to come,” she added.

Ghani presented a ten-minute rule bill to Parliament that would give English and Welsh wines greater exposure at high-profile ambassador’s receptions around the world.

She told MPs that the English wine industry could compete with the best from across Europe despite its small size. But Ghani feels there is a “lack of consistency” among the UK’s foreign embassies, high commissions and consulates regarding serving homegrown wines.

“Last week our Rome embassy asked the UK industry to sponsor an evening for Tuscan wines. That is simply not good enough. I doubt Italy’s outposts here in London serve anything other than Italian wine,” she said.

Last May the British government put its faith in English sparkling wine, making Ridgeview and Chapel Down the official fizz suppliers for 10 Downing Street.

The Queen has also shown her support for English sparkling wine, with Windsor Great Park, a 2013 English fizz made from grapes grown on her estate in Windsor, selling out shorty after going on sale through Laithwaite’s last year.

Around 44% of the wines served at government events in 2015 were English or Welsh. The government’s wine cellar contains over 33,000 bottles with a total value of £809,990.

With the UK set to leave the EU, British success stories need support to help them reach a wider audience and project a positive post-Brexit ‘brand’.

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