Post-Brexit doommongering could lead to slowdown says pub chain boss
The Brexit-backing chairman of JD Wetherspoon has lashed out at Chancellor George Osborne, the IMF, the Bank of England and a host of other organisations, blaming them for a potential slowdown following the EU referendum vote.
Tim Martin called into question their honesty and economic judgment during the referendum campaign, also singling out the CBI, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and PwC, who he claims were too negative about the impact of a Leave vote.
“In my opinion, the above individuals and organisations are either dishonest or they have a poor understanding of economics, since democracy and prosperity are closely linked and the EU is clearly undemocratic.
“By voting to restore democracy in the UK, I believe the UK’s economic prospects will improve, although it is quite possible that the unprecedented and irresponsible doom-mongering, outlined above, may lead to some kind of slowdown.”
He also ripped into the outgoing prime minister, adding: “Osborne’s stance was supported by Prime Minister David Cameron, who also forecast an increased likelihood of war and genocide.”
Mr Martin made the comments alongside a Wetherspoon trading update, which saw like-for-like sales rise 4% in the final quarter and increase 3.4% over the year.
The chairman was an outspoken backer of the Leave camp, and toured 100 of the company’s pubs in a bid to convince customers that the UK would be better off outside the EU.
To tie in with the EU referendum vote, the firm printed 280,000 copies of its Wetherspoon News magazine featuring an EU special, as well as 500,000 copies of an EU magazine.
Mr Martin said before the vote that his company would not be impacted at all if Britain voted to leave the European Union.
He added: “In spite of the dire warnings above, Wetherspoon trade strengthened slightly in recent weeks and we consequently anticipate a modestly improved outcome for this financial year. Caution should be exercised in extrapolating current levels of sales growth for future years.”