JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has attacked Brexit detractors in a trading update that saw like-for-like sales rise 5.5% and total sales by 6.2%.
In a brief update for the 13 weeks to 28 October 2018, dominated by chairman Tim Martin’s views on Brexit, the pub group reported that it had opened two new pubs since the start of the financial year and closed or sold three.
It added that it intends to open between five and 10 pubs in the current financial year.
Martin said that he was currently recovering from an operation after a burst appendix so would be “working part-time from home for several weeks”.
He went on to spell out his thoughts on the Brexit situation, making a case for free trade and turning on those who have expressed caution.
He said: “Free trade will benefit consumers and the economy, yet few commentators today make the case for it, or appear to understand it.”
Martin added: “In reality, I believe the most consistently inaccurate forecasts of the last 40 years have been made by pro-EU economists, bankers, academics, MPs, and organisations like the CBI, City accountants and the Financial Times.”
He said that some 500,000 jobs had been created since the Brexit vote, while mortgage rates were lower and the stock market had risen.
Martin added: “Wetherspoon has set an example by swapping EU products like Jägermeister, Courvoisier and German beer for UK or non-EU products of equal or better quality and price. It follows that UK businesses and consumers have the power to reduce EU exports to the UK to zero, or almost zero.
“Everything that can be bought from within the protectionist EU club can be bought from the 93% of the world outside the EU – if you look hard enough.”