Pro-Brexit pub chain Wetherspoon wants to cut drink prices on January 31

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By Rachael Kennedy
The promotion will last through the month of Feb. File pic
The promotion will last through the month of Feb. File pic   -   Copyright  PIxabay

British pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon, whose chairman is one of the most high-profile business campaigners for Brexit, plans to offer promotional drinks to mark Britain's departure from the European Union.

The discount chain, which has 875 pubs across the UK, has said it plans to cut the prices of several European drinks by up to 60p (€0.70) for a month-long promotion beginning January 31.

The drinks are from countries including the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and Ireland, according to a statement on the company website.

But the announcement comes just months after the same chain announced it planned to replace champagne and German beers with non-European alternatives.

Tim Martin has also been a vocal supporter of Brexit, having distributed 500,000 Brexit beer mats to his pubs across the UK last August.

'Tariffs are counter-productive'

Writing about the "Let's Stay Friends" promotion, Martin said many of his customers were "keen to celebrate Brexit", but that he also wanted to "remain friends with our European neighbours."

He went on to attack any notion of trade tariffs that could be placed on goods following the withdrawal, and suggested UK consumers would "shun" EU products should tariffs be placed on UK imports.

"The EU and UK need to understand that tariffs and protectionism are counter-productive," Martin wrote.

He added: "UK consumers will shun EU goods if tariffs are imposed on UK exports – as EU consumers might do if the roles were reversed. It is therefore pointless for one side to threaten the other with tariffs.

"The public and businesses will be the ultimate decision-makers through their purchasing choices.

"Let’s stay friends and enjoy free trade, but take account of the economic reality.

"Consumers hold the whip hand in these negotiations, not governments."


The UK is set to leave the European Union on January 31 and enter a transition period that will last until December.

In the meantime, UK and European governments will begin trying to hash out new agreements for its future trading partnerships.