My Shout: Phil Dixon, licensed trade consultant, discusses the 'Brexit and Wexit fallout'

By Phil Dixon

- Last updated on GMT

Brexit v Wexit: Phil Dixon discusses the recent fallout between Tim Martin and Pete Brown
Brexit v Wexit: Phil Dixon discusses the recent fallout between Tim Martin and Pete Brown

Related tags Racism

It’s part of life when a couple you really like have a fallout, so I was saddened to see the tiff between Pete Brown and Tim Martin over Tim using beer mats for his Brexit views and Pete threatening a ‘Wexit’ (a Wetherspoon exit).

Pete is a truly great writer and I have bought his Man walks into a Pub​ as a present for more Christmases than I can remember. I also have affection for Tim’s anti-establishment idiosyncrasies and his pubs; indeed in the past three months, I have visited ‘Spoons’ in Chichester (both of them); Lincoln; Canterbury (yep, I like cathedrals); Dover; Hartlepool; Stourbridge; and Chapeltown, South Yorkshire; which is a favourite because it’s a ‘homage’ to the former Izal factory where three generations of my family all worked.

Tim is clearly passionate about his politics​, especially regarding the EU. His justification for the mats is that he’s correct and needs to expose other viewpoints that are wrong. He can’t though say he’s definitely correct on food prices if we have no trade deal because his hypothesis is based on assumptions that are not certain. Will Aussie wine producers drop their prices if there are no tariffs? My Yorkshire DNA would indeed hope so, for not that long ago I paid £6.99 for a bottle of Hardys in a local Spoons but last Thursday in another it was over £11!

He does though miss Pete’s point​ that he was not arguing against his protestations regarding the EU just that he did not want them in his face when enjoying a pint in his local. Tim’s call for a hard Brexit with no deal unfortunately puts him firmly on the UKIP side of British politics. Sadly that will lead to a very negative perception, among young people especially.


I was appalled at how the Brexit campaign appealed to what Tim referred to (Guardian ​4 November 2016) as elements of xenophobia in our society. That is a polite description of those obnoxious British white supremacists who peddle their vile and detestable views. Now Tim Martin is not a racist at all but he has fellow travellers on this issue who in my view certainly are.

I wondered just how his beer mats were being received over the border in the cities of Glasgow and indeed Edinburgh where they voted 3-1 to remain.

In one Spoons (Edinburgh) there was shaking of heads and some of the EU workers in the kitchen were apparently quite disillusioned about the mats. In another (Glasgow) they try not to put them out at all! This is because all the customers do is rip them up, get a bit aggressive and threaten to go elsewhere.

So contentious PR, poor HR and a potential negative effect on sales?

Maybe Pete has a point?

Although, bearing in mind in the Ward Jackson JDW, Hartlepool, a pint of Ruddles was £1.55 in 2014 and just eight weeks ago it was still only £1.55, I shan’t be joining his ‘Wexit’.

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