Wetherspoon Brexit beer mats support ‘no deal’

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

No deal stance: Wetherspoon's new beer mats argue the country should ditch EU tariffs
No deal stance: Wetherspoon's new beer mats argue the country should ditch EU tariffs

Related tags: brexit, Tim martin

JD Wetherspoon have launched a Brexit beer mat outlining the pubco's view that the UK should not strike a deal with the EU and opt out of EU tariffs.

Some 500,000 beer mats will be distributed in the pubco’s sites to garner support for a ‘no deal’ resolution.

Ten EU-related points are addressed to the leaders of the country’s main political parties on the mats, such as EU tariffs, which the mat argues are presently imposed on domestic and agricultural imports and that halting those would mean lower prices in shops and pubs.

The mats are headlined "Free trade (ie. ‘no deal’) means lower prices".

The pubco believes the Ggovernment should not pay Brussels upon its departure of the EU, which is scheduled for 29 March 2019.

JDW chairman Tim Martin, who signed the mat “with best wishes”, said paying was a “crazy” plan and urged the Government to withhold payment.

Payment to Brussels

He said: “The beer mat points out that the vast majority of the public strongly objects to the crazy Government plan to pay £39bn to Brussels, with nothing in return.

“Lawyers have repeatedly said that there is no legal obligation to pay.

“That’s £600 for every man, woman and child in the UK or £60m per MP to spend on their constituents.”

Conversely, research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggested customers would not see much price benefit from the slashing of tariffs.

It said cutting tariffs would see prices shrink by a maximum of 1.2%, however, it would not offset a 2% increase in prices from the devaluation of the pound immediately after the referendum result.

Product boycott 

Earlier this summer, the pubco announced it would avoid EU suppliers​ in favour of products made in the UK or outside the EU, starting with sparkling wines and wheat beers.

The mat continued this message: “If the unelected President Juncker and his apparatchiks continue to be obstructive, remember that all EU products can be replaced by similar alternatives from the UK – or from the 93% of the world not in the EU."

Other nations, including Australia, Singapore and Switzerland that have cut tariffs have seen economic booms, the mat argues.

It adds: “And our good friends in countries like the USA and India are keen to do trade deals with us.”

Martin said he disagreed with “most economists, businesses and writers” that a ‘no deal’ would automatically result in a mutual imposition of tariffs by the UK and the EU under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

He added: “The rules also allow the UK to abolish current EU import tariffs, effectively adopting ‘free trade’ as a member of very successful countries have already done.”

It is not the first time the company has used beer mats to make a political point.

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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