Beerxit: Wetherspoons warns it could stop selling EU drinks

The pro-Leave chain says the UK won't be bullied by un-elected European officials...

Beerxit: Wetherspoons warns it could stop selling EU drinks

Steve Parsons PA Archive/PA Images

UK pub chain JD Wetherspoon has threatened to stop buying drinks from the EU if Britain is forced into a 'Hard Brexit' as a punishment for leaving the Union.

"Wetherspoon normally agrees on trade deals with suppliers for 3 to 10 years. If we, and companies like ours, are unable to agree on tariff-free transactions, it will inevitably result in a loss of business for European companies which have done nothing to deserve this outcome," the chairman of Wetherspoon Tim Martin stated.

"Indeed, the ultimate sanction will be in the hands of UK consumers, should they take offence at the hectoring and bullying approach of Juncker and co. French wine, Champagne and spirits, German beer and Swedish cider, for example, are all at extreme risk," he continued.

The chain, which has over 1,000 pubs across the UK - and  four bars in Dublin and one in Cork, was an open supporter of the 'leave' side in the EU membership referendum.

The group's quarterly report which accompanied the statements showed that for the 13 weeks to 23 October 2016, like-for-like sales increased by 3.5% and total sales increased by 2.3%.

However, the level of like-for-like sales reduced to 2.3% in the last 5 weeks of the period.

The company is also facing higher operating costs as wages and rates increase, and it carries out repairs.

"The company has made a reasonable start in the current year, but any forecasts for the full year are inevitably tentative, with nine months still to go – and the outlook for the current financial year is unchanged. We will provide updates as we progress through the year," the statement concludes.