JDW boss hits back at Brexit critics in video

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Leave supporter: JDW chairman Tim Martin has been vocal about his Brexit support
Leave supporter: JDW chairman Tim Martin has been vocal about his Brexit support
JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has issued a video to rebut criticisms of comments he made in support of ‘no deal’ on BBC’s Question Time.

The criticisms came from Mike Galsworthy – co-founder of campaign group Scientists for EU – which is in favour of keeping the country in the European Union.

Martin said: “Galsworthy, who represents an academic pressure group called Scientists for EU, and who is campaigning for a second referendum, has put a video online, which contains serious errors of fact regarding the implications of Brexit.

“He states, for example, the £39m payment, proposed in Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, is in respect of a ‘debt’ to the EU.

“As most people understand, a debt implies there is a legal obligation to pay. However, as the House of Lords European Unity Committee explicitly stated on 4 March 2017: ‘We conclude that if agreement is not reached... the UK would be subject to no enforceable obligation to make any financial contribution at all’.”

Abjectly wrong

Martin added: “It is alarming that a campaign group, representing highly qualified scientists, can get basic facts so abjectly wrong.”

Galsworthy said the UK wouldn’t be able to sell its fish to the EU following the nation’s exit but Martin argued against this.

Martin said: “Bizarrely, Galsworthy also argues the UK will be no better off by regaining control of its fishing grounds post-Brexit, since we won’t be able to sell our fish to the EU.

“At the moment, 60% of fish in UK waters are landed by EU boats. It is unrealistic to say the demand for fish will evaporate in the future, if they are landed by UK boats.

“In any event, UK fishermen are almost unanimous in their view that regaining control of fishing waters will be a benefit.”

Absurd argument

The pubco chief claimed leaving the EU would mean prices of products would decrease. He added: “Galsworthy then says, or implies, that consumers won’t benefit from the elimination of protectionist EU tariffs, since oranges, for example, can be bought tariff-free, at certain times of the year from South Africa.

“As most people will understand, this is an absurd argument, since giving Spain a monopoly on oranges in the summer and South Africa a monopoly in the winter, for example, does not amount to ‘free trade’.

“If we open our market for oranges, processed coffee, rice, wine, children’s clothes and shoes, and more than 12,000 other products, prices will go down in shops, pubs and restaurants.

“Many tariffs apply to goods that aren’t even grown or produced in the UK. I have taken the unusual step of producing a video to contradict the lazy arguments of Galsworthy and Scientists for EU.

“Students contemplating study in the UK will be alarmed at the sectarianism and careless use of facts from a group of people who should know better.”

Related topics: JD Wetherspoon

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