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. 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."