Wetherspoons boss admits £10 pint possible as he says 'no limit' to price hikes... but he doesn’t regret Brexit

19 June 2023, 18:09 | Updated: 19 June 2023, 18:48

Tim Martin said there are "no limits" to how much pints could rise in price.
Tim Martin said there are "no limits" to how much pints could rise in price. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

The boss of Wetherspoons has said there's 'no limit' on how high the price of a pint could go in the cost of living crisis but insisted he has no regrets around Brexit.

Tim Martin, boss of one of the UK's biggest pub chains, told Andrew Marr on LBC that pints will "quite probably" go up to £8 and when asked if they could one day cost a tenner, said "There's no limit."

Mr Martin famously pledged to slash the price of booze in his pubs to an “unbelievably low” price if ex-PM Boris Johnson managed to leave the European Union successfully by October 31 2019.

Mr Martin, 68, also said it’s a “bad idea” for pubs to start making their beers weaker to save on costs, but added: “We are going to try and avoid doing it [but] we might have to.”

“Brewers have jumped on the bandwagon [because] they can't resist the 25p tax break,” he added.=

Andrew asked Mr Martin: “Everybody at the moment, one way or another is struggling with inflation and rising prices, and some of the big breweries are diluting the alcohol content with their beers to avoid these charges, these extra charges.

“There's the old song from the 1930s, I’m the man, the very fat man who waters the workers’ beer, but I just wonder what your reaction is to the fact that your product in many cases is less strong than it was a few months ago?

Mr Martin replied: “Well, I think it's a crazy move. But again, it's financed by tax because if you bring beer down to 3.4%, which is much lower than almost any beer you ever buy in the pub, you get a big tax break on the basis that of the incredibly stupid reasoning that people will drink less alcohol if they drink weak beer.

“That's just not the way people are. So I think it's a bad idea. Brewers have jumped on the bandwagon, they can't resist a 25 pence tax break, but we are going to try and avoid doing it. Well, we might have... but we want the proper strength beers.”

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

Watch Tonight with Andrew Marr exclusively on Global Player every Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 7pm

The Wetherspoons boss said they want to avoid watering down pints.
The Wetherspoons boss said they want to avoid watering down pints. Picture: Alamy

Asked about the prospect of an £8 pint, Mr Martin said: “There are certainly some pubs that do that and it's gone up more than you would imagine.

“Around the country - I go around the country visiting pubs and talking to our pub managers - whereas it’s not a fiver in our pubs, it's a fiver in a lot of pubs from Penzance to Wick at the moment.

“So yeah, the price has gone up a hell of a lot. Will it go to eight quid? Quite probably, if things go on as they are.”

"And one day that £10 pint?" Andrew asked.

"Andrew there is no limits," he replied.

Quizzed about his views on Brexit, as the Wetherspoons boss was a vocal supporter of leaving the EU, he said he has no regrets. "I'm amazed the depth of emotion," he says. "But I don’t think many people have changed their minds.”

"Have I regrets? No, I think, for humanity to survive, I think we need democracy. We need democracy in China. We need democracy in Russia, especially in the nuclear age - and my bones to pick with the EU is you don't elect the president by universal suffrage and MEPs can't initiate legislation and the ECJ, the court, isn't accountable to Parliament.”

"So it's a Democratic issue, not an economic one?" Marr asked.

Mr Martin responded: "Well, I think two things go together, which a lot of Remainers won't accept this. But I think the most powerful elixir for economics and for personal freedoms is democracy. And when you start reducing it, the level of economic performance eventually declines."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

President Trump was shot at a rally in Pennsylvania

One killed and shooter dead after gunman fires at Donald Trump during rally leaving former president bloodied

American XL bully

Police raid suspected XL Bully farm and arrest man as 13 dogs seized inside house with children

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer has told the England team that they have "made the country proud" before their crunch Euros final against Spain on Sunday.

'Bring it home': Keir Starmer sends message to England team ahead of showpiece Euros final against Spain

spanhoe airfield near corby main runway

Pilot killed in plane crash at former RAF airfield near Corby as police urge witnesses to come forward

A child is dead and five people have been injured after a house fire in East Ham, London.

Child dead after deadly blaze that injured five which gutted east London home and needed 40 firefighters to tackle

Daniel Halliday went missing while playing in the water with his brother on June 30.

Body found in the sea confirmed to be 14-year-old Daniel Halliday who was swept away in River Mersey on June 30

A Scottish council has come under fire for handing almost 2,000 penalties in the first 11 days of its low emission zone

Scottish council under fire after handing out 2,000 fines in first 11 days of new low emission zone

Graziano Di Prima has broken his silence

Strictly Come Dancing pro Graziano Di Prima breaks silence after being 'sacked' following misconduct claims

Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Graziano Di Prima has been sacked by the BBC

Strictly Come Dancing pro 'sacked' after claims of gross misconduct towards former partner Zara McDermott

Prince William will be at the game on Sunday

‘Just one last push’: Prince William’s message to the England team ahead of Euro 2024 final against Spain

The family of the three women who were killed in a crossbow attack have said they are "devastated"

‘We are devastated’, John Hunt and surviving daughter say, after his wife and two daughters killed in crossbow attack

At least 71 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike

‘Dozens killed in air strike on Gaza humanitarian zone’ as Israel says it was targeting Hamas leaders

The Princess of Wales is set to attend the Wimbledon Men's final

Princess of Wales to attend Wimbledon men's singles final in second public appearance since cancer diagnosis

Comedian John Bishop has divided fans after announcing he will be changing the time of his gig on Sunday

Wireless Festival and Comedian John Bishop spark controversy after changing set times for England's Euro 2024 final

Joe Biden has insisted he is staying in the race

Democrat donors ‘withhold $90m unless Biden stands down’ as Obama and Pelosi ‘oppose President’s re-election bid’

Two suitcases with human remains inside were found in Bristol

Armed police arrest man, 34, at train station following discovery of human remains in Bristol and west London