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JD Wetherspoon cuts drink prices for Brexit — but only for a month

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
A Wetherspoon's pub in central London. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters
A Wetherspoon's pub in central London. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters

JD Wetherspoon (JDW.L) plans to cut the price of 10 popular European-made drinks to mark Brexit.

The pub chain said on Monday it would knock around 60p off the price of drinks, starting on Brexit day 31 January and running until 28 February.

“Many of our customers are keen to celebrate Brexit,” said Tim Martin, the founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon.

“At the same time we want to remain friends with our European neighbours and offer a range of drinks at an excellent price. In my opinion, there has been far too much political posturing in negotiations between the UK and the EU up until now.”

Drinks included in the ‘Let’s Stay Friends’ campaign include Estrella Galicia from Spain, Beck’s from Germany, Peroni from Italy, and Jameson Irish Whiskey.

READ MORE: Pro-Brexit Wetherspoon boss tells Boris: Don't break law for no-deal Brexit

Martin is one of the most vocal supporters of Brexit in the business community. He often uses investor updates to talk about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and has used his pubs to promote Brexit. Wetherspoon’s knocked 20p off a pint last September to promote leaving the EU customs union and distributed anti-IMF beer mats at its pubs during the Brexit campaign, a move that drew criticism from a corporate governance group.

Boris Johnson and JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin
Boris Johnson and JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin draft a beer together at Wetherspoons Metropolitan Bar in London on 10 July, 2019. Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Martin again weighed in on Brexit negotiations on Monday, calling for the UK to adopt a tariff-free trading regime after Britain leaves the EU.

“The UK should aim to treat all countries of the world equally by eliminating current protectionist tariffs on nearly 13,000 non-EU imports, which cause every person, and most businesses in the UK, to pay artificially high prices for everyday goods, including rice, oranges, wine and children’s clothing and shoes,” Martin said.

READ MORE: Wetherspoon knocks 20p off pint in no-deal Brexit stunt

He called tariffs “counter-productive” and “pointless”, as shoppers would “shun” high-priced goods if tariffs were imposed by either the EU or UK on each other.

“Let’s stay friends and enjoy free trade, but take account of the economic reality,” Martin said. “Consumers hold the whip hand in these negotiations, not governments.”

READ MORE: JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin survives investor rebellion