Business Brexit

Friday 22 June 2018

Wetherspoon pubs to stop selling EU produced drinks in run up to Brexit

Wetherspoon founder and Brexit supporter Tim Martin
Wetherspoon founder and Brexit supporter Tim Martin
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

JD Wetherspoon will no longer be selling champagne, prosecco or European Union produced beers as it aims to sell more drinks from the UK.

The firm's founder, Tim Martin, was a strong supporter of Brexit and will now be moving his pubs towards non-European Union sparkling wines and beers.

The pub chain aims to replace the Italian fizz with UK or "new world" alternatives at its 880 pubs from July 9.

Wetherspoon has four pubs in suburban Dublin and one in Cork.

Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim Martin is a supporter of Brexit (JD Wetherspoon/PA)
Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim Martin is a supporter of Brexit (JD Wetherspoon/PA)

It also has two undeveloped sites in Carlow and Waterford and plans to purchase more sites around Ireland.

“This move helps us to broaden our horizons so that we create an improved offer for the 2 million customers who visit our pubs each week," Martin said.

“It is the start of a review of all products in the next six to 24 months, with the object of making our business more competitive.

“The EU’s customs union is a protectionist system which is widely misunderstood. It imposes tariffs on the 93% of the world that is not in the EU, keeping prices high for UK consumers. Tariffs are imposed on wine from Australia, New Zealand and the US, and also on coffee, oranges, rice and more than 12,000 other products.

“There will be an inevitable transfer of trade post-Brexit to countries outside the EU, which will reduce prices in shops and pubs. The products we are now introducing are at lower prices than the EU products they are replacing.

“We intend to honour existing contracts with EU suppliers, some of which have several years to run,” he added.

Wetherspoon will continue to serve Kopparberg cider from Sweden.

Online Editors

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business