French Vineyard Owner Pulls Up Wetherspoon's Boss Over No-Deal Brexit

8 January 2019, 12:15 | Updated: 8 January 2019, 12:19

A French vineyard owner pulled up the chairman of JD Wetherspoon when he said wine would be cheaper after Brexit.

Tim Martin, who founded the popular pub chain, is a leading Brexiteer and insisted the UK has nothing to fear from a no-deal Brexit.

He told Nick Ferrari no-deal is better than Theresa May's deal and talked of scrapping tariffs on New World wines.

He said: "If we leave the EU, one of the advantages is that we can scrap tariffs. So Gavin's wine will continue to come into the country tariff-free, but the difference will be you'll save 8-12p per bottle on wine from the rest of the world.

"But you save 17% on children's clothes, you save x% on bananas, so much on oranges and all the rest of it."

However, Gavin Quinney, who runs a 63-acre vineyard near Bordeaux, pointed out: "Tim, you're not selling children's clothes and bananas in Wetherspoons, you're selling wine.

"The most you're going to reduce a bottle of Australian wine is 8p and if the EU finishes the negotiation with Australia and removes that tariff, 8p we're talking about on a bottle of wine, compared with the UK duty from 1st February will be £2.23 - 28-times more.

"The UK collects 63% of all excise duty on wine in the EU. It's massive, whereas the tariff is tiny."

Nick Ferrari spoke to Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin
Nick Ferrari spoke to Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin. Picture: LBC / PA

Mr Martin then insisted: "Our business depends on how well off our customers are and how well the economy does. If you home in on one bottle of wine, it's a little bit dissective.

"We save £600 per person, because that's what the £39billion we're supposed to pay to the EU is and there's no legal liability for that."

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