Despite the claims of impartiality emblazed across the pubs posters, you would be forgiven for thinking they rang a little hollow. Because, when customers sit down to enjoy their drinks, they're treated to a series of custom beermats explicitly backing a Brexit vote.
The chain, which owns around 1000 pubs in the UK, has supposedly printed 200,000 beer mats promoting a vote to leave the European Union.
I was undecided on how to vote in the EU referendum but then I went to Wetherspoons and put my blue WKD on a pro-Leave mat. Swung it for me.— Jamie Ross (@JamieRoss7) May 31, 2016
The company's founder Tim Martin has expressed his opposition to the EU in the past, but this is the first time that the pub chain has so visibly backed the Leave campaign.
When asked how comfortable she was with the politicization of her workplace, a member of staff — who wished to remain anonymous — told Sputnik, with a raised eyebrow:
"It's [the] head office, if the big boss says it, we have to do it."
The beer mats are specifically critical of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose integrity is called into question. Notably, the governance of the IMF is branded as "untrustworthy" and is compared with the scandal-ridden FIFA.
The free in-house magazine Wetherspoon News features a 13-page section devoted to the EU debate, promising "the arguments for and against" and the even bolder claim that "only Wetherspoon can gather the facts and opinions for you."
However, the section devotes a mere 4 pages to the Remain argument, compared to a whopping 9 pages for Leave.
Senior campaign spokesperson for Scotland's Stronger In campaign, John Edward, told Sputnik:
"It would be slightly less disingenuous if, when BMW and various other much larger employers a couple of months ago said exactly the opposite, the Leave campaign hadn't got all high and mighty and said it's a disgrace that these people are telling their employees and customers what to think, and that they shouldn't be getting involved."
He added: "Tim Martin's views of Brexit are well known and he obviously feels it's appropriate to expect his customers and employees to share his views.
"It's not the way I'd go around working, or the way I think most people would, but I suspect most of them are probably capable of making up their own minds without being influenced by what they read on a beer mat," Edward told Sputnik.
The UK's Electoral Commission requires any individual or organization spending over US$14,560 during the 10 weeks leading up to the referendum, to become a "registered campaigner."
JD Wetherspoon's are not currently registered, but they probably haven't spent US$14,560 as yet, and one would assume they get a pretty good deal on beer mats.