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How Brexit Could Affect the Wine Industry

Brexit might be coming for your booze

Not only has Brexit done damage to the United States stock market — and certainly the British economy at large — but now, it's coming for the world's wine. According to RFI, wine dealers say Brexit is dampening the prices of wines in France, and Wine Enthusiast reports the story is similar throughout most of Europe.

For the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, it will have to replace all existing regulations and re-negotiate trade deals. Couple that with rising costs and a suffering pound, and Brexit could be a recipe for disaster for wine merchants in the country.

Alex Hunt, a purchasing director at importer Berkmann Wine Cellars in London, tells Wine Enthusiast that, unless the pound rises, there will be a hefty increase in the cost of wine: "This is not just a British pound/euro issue. The pound has weakened against all currencies, and as such, imported wines from all countries are set to get appreciably more expensive."

Some say the vote could have a silver lining for winos outside of the United Kingdom, though. According to Gary Boom, managing director of London wine merchant Bordeaux Index, it has since become cheaper for those in Asia, the US, and the European Union to buy from the UK. In fact, Boom says his company saw a "large number of significant orders" placed from Asia "almost as soon as the outcome was announced."

Some business owners have expressed a different set of concerns — that the immigration policy tied to Brexit could have "devastating" consequences on young workers in the city, many of whom are from Europe. Restaurants and bars that rely overwhelmingly on European waitstaff, for instance, could be heavily impacted if EU migrants are forced to leave the UK.

The after-effects of UK residents' vote in favor of leaving the European Union have  already been felt for weeks. Shortly after 52 percent of voters came out in favor of Brexit, the pound plummeted to its lowest point since 1985, and Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to step down.

Agriculture and food production are being affected, too. Britain's prized native foods might be affected as a result, and some suspect grocery bills in the country will soon rise due to a drop in the pound.

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