Italy’s winemakers fear Johnson ‘no-deal’ Brexit
Italy’s largest farmers’ lobby, Coldiretti, has warned that a no-deal Brexit under new UK prime minister Boris Johnson could turn Britain into “a hub for fake Italian products”.
Prosecco currently enjoys protected status under EU rules, alongside other regional food and drink products like Champagne and Spanish ham.
“The enemy of Prosecco will handle Britain’s departure from the EU and there is a serious risk that the United Kingdom could become a hub for fake made-in-Italy products,” a spokesperson for Coldiretti told Reuters.
The farmers’ lobby said that a no-deal Brexit could be seriously harmful for Italy’s Prosecco producers, as the UK currently guzzles a third of all global exports of the fizz.
Prosecco exports to the UK could plummet is Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal on 31 October due to imposed import tariffs.
In 2016, Italy’s then-economic development minister, Carlo Calenda, said Johnson had told him Italy should help Britain retain access to the EU market after Brexit, “because you don’t want to lose Prosecco exports”. At the time Calenda said that the UK would lose out in a no-deal Brexit.
“Okay, you’ll sell less fish and chips, but I’ll sell less Prosecco to one country, and you’ll sell less to 27 countries,” Calenda told Johnson in 2016.