Government’s pint of wine Brexit ‘freedom’ widely ridiculed

"Fear not, the government’s much vaunted Brexit freedoms mean we can now buy wine in pint bottles."

Brexit and EU

A new ‘Brexit freedom’ has been heralded by the government today as it announced the introduction of pints of wine on Britain’s supermarket shelves.  

It has left many bemused, and despairing, at the so called ‘new freedom’ the country has gained from leaving the European Union, with widespread ridicule online.

In the new year, still and sparkling wine can be sold in 568ml pint sizes, with the minister for Enterprise, Makers and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake, praising the “innovation, freedom and choice” consumers and producers will supposedly gain as a result of the scheme.

Apparently, our exit from the EU was “all about moments just like this” Hollinrake argued, “where we can seize new opportunities and provide a real boost to our great British wineries and further growing the economy”.

The government has claimed introducing the new bottle size could boost the economy, arguing 900 vineyards are set to benefit along with the UK’s wine sector.  

However, many people are asking how the new 568ml size bottles are much different from the 500ml ones that are already available at supermarkets, along with 200ml sizes also currently on offer.

Paul Nowak, leader of the Trades Union Congress, mocked the scheme this morning.

“The economy is on its knees. Public services at breaking point. Real wages lower than they were 15 years ago. But fear not, the government’s much vaunted Brexit freedoms mean we can now buy wine in pint bottles. So, swings and roundabouts,” Nowak wrote on X.

Even the Sky News presenters couldn’t conceal their amusement at the plan, as Political Correspondent, Mhari Aurora reflected, “I think many people will think, why do we need a pint of wine.”

She added: “It would be interesting what the French would say about a pint of wine, I think they would probably be quite alarmed, ‘quelle horreur’ as they would say.”

It was also pointed out that even if you wanted a pint of wine you can still achieve it currently, by simply pouring the alcohol into a pint glass.

“It’s the glass that matters, unless you want to go straight from the bottle with a straw, which I guess is also possible,” said Sky presenter Wilfred Frost.

The government has denied a full return to imperial measures, a proposal keenly supported by Jacob-Rees Mogg, and a move which nearly 99% of respondents to the official consultation rejected.

Many online despaired at the government’s spin to herald the pint of wine measure as a Brexit ‘freedom’, contrasting it ironically with the country’s Brexit loses.

Prof Paul Bernal on X wrote: “I think I understand the ‘sparkling wine in pint-sized bottles’ thing. It’s a forward looking policy, to the time when we can no longer import champagne, Prosecco, Asti-Spumante, Cava etc, so have to only drink British sparkling wine, and can’t afford full-sized bottles.”

While another X user reflected: “New Brexit ‘freedom’ means we can drown our sorrows with pints of wine whilst reminiscing about the travel, trade, education, cooperation and other freedoms we used to have.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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