The sobering effect of Brexit: Wine prices hit record high after EU Leave vote
Wine lovers in the UK are shelling out more for their favourite tipple than ever before in the wake of the vote to leave the EU.
Brexit has pushed the price of a bottle of wine to an all-time high and there is worse to come, a trade body has warned.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association says the average price of a bottle of wine has risen more in the 12 weeks to 25 March than in the last two years, hitting £5.56, its highest ever price.
It blames rising inflation, triggered by a slump in the value of the pound and an increase in the cost of imports in the wake of Britain's Brexit vote.
This, it said, has pushed up prices by 3% in the last three months, compared with a 1% increase over the previous two years.
It added prices could go up further as the figures do not take into account the rise of 3.9% in alcohol duty announced in the March Budget, adding another 8p to the average-priced bottle.
WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: "Last year the WSTA predicted that Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound, compounded by rising inflation, would force the UK wine industry to up their prices.
"Sadly this is now a reality as an average priced bottle of wine in the UK is at an all-time high.
"Unfortunately, for both British businesses and consumers, we are clear that this is not a one-off adjustment, but rather that wine prices will continue to rise.
"We all know that Brexit will be complicated, but something has got to give and Government must start showing its support for the UK wine industry and the 275,000 jobs that our industry supports by tackling our excessive duty rates at the Autumn Budget."
In October, the WSTA warned the price of a bottle of wine from the EU could go up by an average of 29p as a result of Brexit, with a weaker pound since the 23 June vote having a "serious and immediate impact" on importers.
It said bottles from outside the EU could increase by an average of 22p.
The group said 99% of the 1.8 billion bottles of wine consumed in the UK are imported, meaning that any additional potential tariffs – should the UK leave the EU without a trade deal – would have a "punishing" effect.