JD Wetherspoon has announced it will boost the number of drinks it stocks from UK and non-EU producers in the lead up to Brexit.
The 880-site strong pub group has said it will replace Champagne with sparkling wines from the UK and Australia, while wheat beers produced in Germany, will be exchanged for alternatives brewed in the UK.
Wetherspoon will continue to serve Kopparberg cider from Sweden, as the company has confirmed it will produce cider in the UK post-Brexit, but alcohol-free beer brewed in East Anglia will replace an alternative produced in Germany.
JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “This move helps us to broaden our horizons so that we create an improved offer for the two million customers who visit our pubs each week.
“It is the start of a review 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.”
Martin said JD Wetherspoon would honour existing contracts with EU suppliers, while looking to plan for the future adding: “Brexit will create big marketing opportunities for UK and non-EU producers, which Wetherspoon is keen to encourage.
“To maximise the opportunities from Brexit the UK must follow free trading nations like Australia, New Zealand and Singapore by ending tariffs.”