- JD Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin threatens to stop selling European prosecco and champagne in the event of a post-Brexit “trade war.”
“In almost all cases there are suitable, and often excellent, alternatives to EU products available elsewhere,” he said in a shareholder update.
- Martin then compared the EU to a Monty Python sketch before threatening to pull out of a deal with one of the pub chain’s largest suppliers.
LONDON – Tim Martin, the outspoken, pro-Brexit chairman of pub chain JD Wetherspoon, threatened to stop selling European prosecco, champagne and Swedish cider in the event of a “trade war” once Britain leaves the European Union in a shareholder update released on Friday.
Martin compared the EU to a Monty Python sketch before threatening to pull out of a deal with one of the pub chain’s largest suppliers.
Martin said that if the EU places punitive tariffs on the UK after Brexit, British companies will simply look elsewhere for their goods and services, punishing the EU’s 27 members just as much as the UK.
He then tacitly threatened to stop selling EU products including champagne and prosecco, saying that “in almost all cases there are suitable, and often excellent, alternatives to EU products available elsewhere.”
Martin also cited the example of Kopparberg, a Swedish fruit cider popular with younger drinkers.
“Wetherspoon is one of the biggest customers, or possibly the biggest customer, of the excellent Swedish cider-maker Kopparberg,” Martin wrote.
“If trade barriers were imposed, so as to make Kopparberg uneconomic, then Wetherspoon could switch to UK suppliers or those from elsewhere in the world.
“In this case, the principal losers in a trade war would be the inhabitants of a small town in Sweden, where Kopparberg is produced, rather than the UK economy.”
Martin’s attack on the EU is nothing new. In January, he attacked the “highly inaccurate” economic forecasts of international institutions like the OECD and IMF, before channelling legendary investor Warren Buffett.
“Their erroneous views lend weight to Warren Buffett’s aphorism that most forecasts tell you a lot about the forecaster, but nothing about the future,” he said.
Back in November, Martin used a shareholder letter to criticise media outlets and business groups for spreading “misinformation” about Brexit.
He added that business leaders are making “factually incorrect and highly misleading” statements about leaving the European Union.