MA poll says 44% of operators want to remain in the EU

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Has the tide turned? A poll suggests more in the sector want to remain in EU three years after the referendum
Has the tide turned? A poll suggests more in the sector want to remain in EU three years after the referendum

Related tags: Pubs, brexit

A poll conducted by The Morning Advertiser (MA) found almost half (44%) of respondents want to remain in the European Union (EU).

However, a quarter (25%) of the 152 who replied to the survey on Twitter​ said they wanted to leave, 18% “wanted it over” and 13% demanded another referendum.

This is in contrast to a poll conducted by MA ​before the referendum in 2016, which found 59% of pub sector professionals were in favour of leaving the EU.

This poll, run on morningadvertiser.co.uk​ from 14 to 20 June 2016, found that of the 360 respondents, 59% were in favour of leaving the European Union​, with 41% wanting to remain.

However, post the referendum but still in 2016, licensees expressed concern about the impact of Brexit on their pubs as senior trade figures called on the Government to act quickly to reassure businesses and consumers.

Stockpiling for Brexit

Meanwhile, a Belgian-themed pub in Norwich has stockpiled goods​ amid fears the business could be ‘flipped onto its head’ if the UK is left with a no-deal Brexit.

The Belgian Monk serves beer that is directly imported from Belgium, along with food dishes that come from Holland.

For the past four to six weeks, the owners have ensured they have enough stock to see them through until January 2020.

Earlier this year, signs of panic buying were seen as businesses began increasing their imports to negate the need to pay import fees under a ‘hard’ Brexit.

At the time, Midland Pallet Trucks managing director Phil Chesworth said: “Brexit is scheduled to take place less than two months before Christmas, so it’s obviously very natural that retailers who rely on goods from the EU will be keen to secure those items that are typically in demand over the holidays, such as alcohol, at fee-free prices."

Longer term solutions

He added: “Clearly, stockpiling is far from over, but we are keen to reiterate that stockpiling is a plaster on a wound, and that we must look at longer term solutions to prepare for whatever situations we may find ourselves navigating post-Brexit.”

In May 2019, there were reports that the pub chain Marston’s had stocked up on an extra £6m worth of Estrella beer.

Other pub chains such as Greene King said they were also preparing for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

The pub operator has previously said it was working closely with its partners to safeguard the continued supply of goods to its pubs and breweries, as well as the export of its beers.

Chesworth added that while there are stockpiling trends within big chain brands, he had heard reports of smaller independent pubs also adding to their usual supplies in preparation for Brexit, such as the Belgian Monk.

Related topics: Legislation

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