MP calls for British wines only to be served in UK's overseas embassies to boost post-Brexit trade

Tom Powell
Make Britain grape again: a Tory MP wants British tipples to be served at the UK's embassies: Shutterstock / Minerva Studio

British wines should be served in overseas embassies to "give the world a taste" of what the UK has to offer after Brexit, a Tory MP has said.

Wealdon MP Nusrat Ghani wants all British consulates and embassies to ditch cava and prosecco in favour of home-grown wines and sparkling wines to boost new trade deals following the UK's departure from the European Union.

British wines could even "oil the wheels" of the upcoming Brexit negotiations, she claimed as she led efforts to change the law to command the Diplomatic Service to serve British wines abroad.

Introducing her Bill in the Commons, Ms Ghani said: "In a post-Brexit world, we must do all we can to get behind industries that show the sort of potential of our wine industry and what better way to do that than to give the world a taste by serving UK-produced wine and sparkling wine in our 268 embassies, High Commissions and consulates around the world?

"What could be a more appropriate setting to promote English wine than the famed ambassador's reception?"

UK wines can easily compete with more established producers in France, Italy and Spain, with more than 5 million bottles of English wine produced last year, MPs heard.

Ms Ghani said "lack of consistency" meant the Diplomatic Service was missing opportunities to promote British produce abroad to nations such as India, China and Singapore, as British wines are already served by the Queen and the Prime Minister at official functions.

Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani wants to ditch Cava and Prosecco (PA Archive/PA Images)

She told MPs: "As we leave the EU, we must grasp every opportunity to find new markets for our products around the world and to be imaginative in supporting and promoting them.

"British viticulture is an industry which has a golden future ahead of it, much like the colour of its best-known sparkling vintages.

"It will play an increasing important role in our rural economic powerhouse."

MPs unanimously backed the Diplomatic Service (United Kingdom Wines and Sparkling Wines) Bill and it will be debated further on March 24.

However, it is unlikely to become law without Government support.