Bottles of wine could be 10p cheaper as ministers tear up EU red tape

WINE lovers could enjoy 10p knocked off a bottle in a shredding of Brussels red tape confirmed today.

Ministers are ripping up rules requiring complex paperwork for plonk imported from outside the EU to save sellers £130million a year.

A bonfire of burdensome regulations like the annoying VI-1 certificates for wine was signed today.

The Government has been scrambling to ram through the legislation to "head off the threat" of more red tape coming down the track.

The EU, which accounts for 50 per cent of UK wine imports, is introducing new restrictions for goods in the New Year.

A Government source said: "Pointless EU red tape should be relegated to history. What we have done this week will help our drinks industry grow, cut costs for consumers, support jobs and ensure that we have access to the best wines from all over the world."

It comes after a dramatic shake-up of alcohol duty at the Budget this October as Rishi Sunak cut taxes for low-strength booze – but hiked it for stronger stuff.

While a £9 bottle of white wine will soon be 12p cheaper, a £16 bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva will get 47p more expensive.

Today's legislation to scrap the EU's certification requirement will kick in on January 1.

Wine and Spirit Trade Association boss Miles Beale hailed the EU rules a "historic moment" for the industry.

He said: "This week marks the final hurdle in a two year battle to remove unnecessary and costly inherited EU red tape on wine imports."

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Food and drink minister Victoria Prentis said: "The UK wine industry delivers high quality, great value wine from all over the world.

"By removing this pointless red tape, our businesses are in a stronger and more competitive position than before.

"Ending the requirement for import certificates is an important measure in supporting this vital industry, and a clear benefit of our now having the freedom to determine our own rules."

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