Chairman of J D Wetherspoon plc, Tim Martin, said in the Wetherspoon News magazine that his company has proven a point by replacing their third highest-selling spirit, Jägermeister, (non-UK-owned) with a British alternative.
"The reduction has been passed on to customers, saving them about £1 million per year. Sales of this category of drinks ('shooters' — not everyone's cup of tea) have increased by 10%. It seems logical that, if you can substitute an almost unique, and incredibly successful, product like Jägermeister, you can substitute ANYTHING the UK currently buys from the continent. The Europeans are acting cool, yet I can promise you that they are truly terrified that Wetherspoon's actions will catch on — which they will, because they work," Mr. Martin argued.
Having completed a two-month tour of 100 of his pubs to campaign for a no-deal Brexit, the Martin is one of the few business leaders in the UK who has openly supported Brexit in the past two years and remains confident a no-deal scenario is the way to go.
"We can eliminate tariffs on thousands of products, many of which aren't made in the UK, like rice, bananas, oranges, New Zealand wine — 12,000 products, and that will make people in the country better off," Martin said in one of bar tour interviews.
Martin predicts no loss of income for the UK Treasury because the tariff income from non-EU imports "is today sent to Brussels."
"The reality, which the public understands, but many of the elite don't, is that leaving the EU next year allows the UK, without the consent of, or negotiation with, the EU, to abolish all the taxes (tariffs) on non-EU imports, like oranges, rice, coffee, Aussie wine and a total of 12,651 products. This will reduce prices in the shops, making for a better-off public.
"At the same time, the UK can avoid the payment of £39 billion to the EU which government lawyers have said ("Brexit: UK could quit without paying… say Lords" 4 March 2017, The Guardian) there is no obligation to pay. Also, the UK can regain control of its fishing grounds, helping those coastal communities sacrificed on the altar of the metropolitan EU vision," Martin suggested.
He also added that the Brexit "cliff-edge nonsense" is just another story, which holds no validity and it is time for Britain "to say goodbye" to the EU and instead enjoy the membership of "the club of free-trading nations which have slashed tariffs — Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and so on."
Martin's reasoning has not been backed by everyone, with some Brits taking to social media to voice their discontent and calling the Wetherspoon News magazine "pro-Brexit propaganda."
Why has WetherspoonNews arrived through my letterbox for the first time ever? And why is it full of Pro-brexit propaganda? pic.twitter.com/mfHaNms3XU— Savage Houtkop (@SavageHoutkop) January 29, 2019
The House of Commons is set to vote on a number of amendments tabled by MPs in attempt to change the direction of the Brexit process.
This evening, MPs will vote on amendments to the motion about the PM's proposed next steps for a #Brexit deal. But what are the views of the Government, Opposition and #EU on the available options? Read our Insight to find out more https://t.co/UgrY1zcBuH pic.twitter.com/KQOGB8Co8p— Commons Library (@commonslibrary) January 29, 2019