Britain’s pubs and brewers are committed to delivering a great customer experience, rewarding careers and fantastic development opportunities. The sector has a unique role in enhancing Britain’s reputation overseas and is well placed to be a driving force for growth as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. For British businesses to thrive in a post-Brexit world we should strive to operate the most competitive tax and regulatory regime in Europe. From a resurgence in British beer exports, to major job creation in pubs and the provision of great hospitality for millions of tourists each year, delivering a highly competitive tax and regulatory environment for beer and pubs will reap major rewards for UK plc.


The End of Transition period, regardless of a deal, will bring with it several changes to the UK’s current regimes. To stay up to date on those changes and what business must do to remain compliant, both here at home and in the EU, see our Technical Circulars page for regular updates HERE, including our one-pager, webinar slides, up to date links, and HMRC’s Recent Letter.

Promoting Great British Beer & Pubs

British brewing and pub industries have been enormous beneficiaries of overseas tourism. For many tourists, our food and drink is an essential part of a visit to the UK.

We are calling for:

  • Greater support for promotion of British goods in the UK and overseas markets
  • Government and Visit Britain to bolster activity to communicate the UK as a welcoming destination in overseas markets
  • Government to clarify no change in the entry requirements for visitors to the UK for at least two years
  • The UK to maintain access to Regional Protected Status for food and drink products that have traditional or regional characteristics or qualities
  • Simplification of visa requirements for visitors from non-EU countries

Attracting skills and labour

It is vital for brewers and pubs that there remains access to the skills and labour the sector needs to grow and that we retain a business environment that provides for a productive and motivated workforce.

We are calling for:

  • No changes to the rights of existing overseas workers in the industry and within the supply chain
  • Any future immigration system to support ffectively the necessary levels of staffing for UK businesses
  • Any quota system to take account of the service sector and areas of staff shortages (such as pub chefs)
  • Maintaining strong working practices with no erosion of current employment rights

Trading as freely as possible

It is vital for British brewers that trading relationships are free and open, so that our sector can continue to flourish and create jobs and growth: and the rest of the world can experience the pleasure of a great British beer.

We are calling for:

  • A free trade deal with the EU as a priority with no tariffs or additional paperwork for beer exports
  • Free trade deals with key third-country partners and the rest of the world that benefit beer exports
  • No introduction of minimum pricing which would be inconsistent with free trade and open markets
  • Maintaining a food safety system that is compliant with the demands of leading trade partners around the world
  • A review of where state aid and free movement rules are hampering business support

A favourable tax regime

We need a tax regime that encourages investment in Britain’s pubs and breweries to ensure a great customer experience. The UK currently has the second highest excise levels in the EU and it is vital this burden is reduced to allow our sector to compete following Brexit.

We are calling for:

  • A more competitive excise duty regime that supports growth in exports of British beer, encourages the consumption of lowerstrength drinks and supports pubs
  • Reduced VAT on pub meals
    An increase in Climate Change Agreement discounts and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to be replaced by a simpler system
  • Partnership working with industry to consider new opportunities to tackle duty fraud
  • Support for the domestic production of key raw materials for brewing such as malting barley and hops through an effective subsidy regime for Britain’s farmers

Effective and proportionate regulation

The sector faces a very significant regulatory burden. The removal or adoption of EU Directives must cause minimal disruption to business whilst taking the opportunity to establish a more competitive business environment that supports a thriving beer and pub sector.

We are calling for:

  • Adoption of EU Competition Law
  • A better, more cost effective framework for recycling
  • Adopt the existing EU food labelling regime
  • Maintain standard product measurements
  • Effective regulation of approved pesticides, with a strong, central role for DEFRA
  • Adoption of the EU copyright system
  • Work with industry to identify other opportunities to develop a more effective and light touch regulatory regime particularly for SMEs
  • EU legislation currently implemented to be the default starting point where time is needed to get regulation right for UK business
  • BBPA, Hospitality Ulster and Deloitte to jointly host FREE Brexit preparedness webinars for sector

    08 October 2019

    The British Beer & Pub Association, Hospitality Ulster and professional services company Deloitte are to host four free live webinars to help businesses and stakeholders from the beer and pub sectors prepare for Brexit. The focus will be on the challenges for the brewing and pub sectors as we leave the EU, but each live webinar session is open to ALL drinks and hospitality organisations and will feature an hour of expert advice from a Deloitte consultant, followed by an open Q&A of 30 minutes. The webinars will also be recorded for those unable to make the live sessions. The first live webinar, which will cover Mobility & Access to Talent post-Brexit, will take place on 10/10/2019 at 3:30pm. The webinar will cover what impact Brexit will have on staffing and hiring talent from the EU, including new processes, paperwork, costs and liability for sponsoring visas. It will also cover restrictions of British citizens working (and driving) in the EU. To register for the webinar, visit: The second live webinar, which will cover changes to business regulations, will take place on 15/10/2019 at 11am. The webinar will cover what potential changes there will be to data sharing and transfers as well as intellectual property protections and domain names in the EU after the UK leaves. To register for the webinar, visit: The third live webinar, which will cover Tariff issues, will take place on 17/10/2019 at 11am. The webinar will cover the temporary tariff schedule and how it differs to WTO tariffs, what happens to other trade agreements, and new procedures at the border. It will also explain the EU markets where Small Brewers Relief will be lost in the event of a no-deal Brexit. To register for the webinar, visit: The fourth and final webinar, which will cover Non-Tariff Barriers, will take place on 22/10/2019 at 11am. The webinar will cover changes to labelling requirements for both beer coming into the UK from the EU and beer being exported to the EU and rest of the world from the UK post-Brexit. It will also cover changes to Excise Movement Control Systems to expect post-Brexit and much more. To register for the webinar, visit: Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, commented: “With political and economic uncertainty continuing, it is vital that all in the brewing and pub sectors are prepared for the UK to leave the EU. Our Brexit preparedness webinars will have vital and free advice for anyone in the drinks and hospitality sectors getting ready for Brexit. Make sure you register for each webinar now and be sure to take advantage of the open Q&A time at the end of each for any of your questions.”

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  • Sector Deal for Tourism will benefit pubs and hospitality, says BBPA in response to BEIS report

    19 March 2019

    The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to a report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee on the Government’s Industrial Strategy and various sector deals, including the hospitality sector. The report said that having struck sector deals with various business segments already off the back of the Industrial Strategy, the Government must do more to work with British business that haven’t yet had specific sector deals, such as hospitality and retail. Commenting on the report, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We welcome this BEIS Select Committee report on the Government’s Industrial Strategy and Sector Deals, which highlights the importance of the hospitality sector to the UK. “The British brewing and pub sector is central to the hospitality offer of the UK, but it is struggling with issues ranging from high taxation through beer duty and business rates, to issues over staff recruitment and retention, particularly as the UK prepares to leave the EU. We would therefore welcome any additional support the Government could give hospitality businesses like pubs through a specific sector deal. “It is important to note that the Government has committed in principle to a Sector Deal for Tourism, which we have already welcomed as a huge boost to pubs and the wider hospitality sector after putting in a lot of hard work to secure it. “Pubs are third on the list of things to do for overseas visitors to the UK; over half visit a pub whilst they are here. Ensuring Britain’s tourism offer remains competitive through a sector deal is therefore good news for pubs and hospitality. “As we prepare to leave the European Union, we must also concentrate on making pubs and hospitality a career choice employees relish. Recruitment and retention are vital when as it stands 24% of pub employees come from overseas. This can rise to over 80% in metropolitan areas. The Sector Deal for Tourism would enable us to encourage more UK nationals join our industry, enhance our apprenticeship offer and train and retain our existing workforce.”

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Brexit Manifesto


Did you know?

£595 million

the value of British beer exports in 2017