Beer supporters take campaign to help brewers to Europe

Titchfield schoolchildren get stuck in to new equipment provided by Fareham College pupils

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CAMPAIGNERS have stepped up the effort to secure a fairer deal for brewers.

The Campaign for Real Ale this week met Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner responsible for taxation across Europe, to discuss plans to change the EU Directive on Excise Duty for Alcohol, with the hope of securing more support for brewers and cider producers in Britain.

Camra representatives, along with Anneliese Dodds and Clare Moody MEP, met the commissioner in Strasbourg, France.

The aim will be to influence the current consultation into revising the EU Directive to include:

n Allowing the UK to retain the current duty exemption for small cider producers making less than 70 HL a year, and introducing a sliding scale of duty similar to Small Breweries’ Relief to support medium-sized producers

n Allowing the UK to apply a differential rate of duty on draught real ale and cider to help encourage a shift in consumption back to pubs

n Allowing the UK to raise the threshold for a lower rate of duty on beer from 2.8 per cent to 3.5 per cent to encompass a wider variety of beers

It comes after Camra met the Commissioner’s office in July 2015 to discuss the EU’s request to remove the current duty exemption for small cider producers.

Since then, the government has confirmed its support for the duty exemption, and the EU Commission has agreed to review the directive.

Camra chief executive Tim Page said: ‘There are a number of issues facing brewers and cider makers that need to be addressed – particularly for those who are hoping to expand their business.’

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