'We don't need to rely on the EU - they're the ones in trouble', says Wetherspoon CEO

Tim Martin

Monday, November 26, 2018

The CEO of pub chain JD Wetherspoon is calling for a no-deal Brexit, claiming it would give UK companies a "crack of the whip".

Appearing on the breakfast show, Tim Martin said that leaving without a deal would be "trouble" for the EU, but an opportunity for the UK.

"Ninety-three per cent of the world is outside the EU, so there's a far greater opportunity to buy things we import from further afield," he said. "It gives a crack of the whip to UK companies."



Mr Martin is launching a no-deal Brexit pub crawl over the next two months, in which he will visit more than 100 of the pub chain's sites to talk about the advantages of a hard Brexit.

"The idea you have to buy things from the EU is an illusion," he said.

"We buy a hell of a lot of stuff from them, much more than they buy from us."


Non-EU alternatives

Tim Martin with Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Image: Getty

The businessman has already replaced a number of EU products with alternatives from the UK and the rest of the world, which he said were "more popular" than the products they were replacing.

Among the non-EU beverages on offer is an alternative to the German herbal liquer, Jagermeister, which comes from the northern county of Lancashire.



"Jagermeister has been replaced by a product from Chorley in Lancashire which almost didn't exist before, and now it's got a chance at becoming a very big product," Mr Martin said.

"We don't need to rely on the EU - they're the ones in trouble."