UK beer industry welcomes potential duty-free shopping return

The trade organisation for the UK's beer and pub industry has said the possible reintroduction of duty-free shopping could be good news for brewers.

The announcement comes after chancellor Sajid Javid said yesterday that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, duty-free shopping in EU countries will return. According to Javid, the move would make a bottle of wine purchased in Heathrow duty free on the way to the EU "up to GBP2.23 (US$2.76) cheaper".

The British Beer & Pub Association's (BBPA) chief executive Brigid Simmonds said the move could help grow beer exports.

"Brewing and pubs are vital attractions for our tourism industry and boost UK exports too," Simmonds said. "In fact, many tourists who drink beer in the UK take it back home too. Enabling European tourists to buy British beer duty-free and share it with friends and family back home can only help in promoting our beer exports overseas."

The chief executive also welcomed restrictions on the amount of beer that could be brought into the UK duty free. Under the new regime, Javid said consumers would have the option to buy limited amounts of duty-free alcohol and cigarettes at duty free shops in Europe, as well as continue to "purchase and bring home unlimited alcohol and cigarettes in Europe if they pay duty on it there" - as is the case now. 

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