Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has today issued a new beer mat (Monday December 3) highlighting its support for the British fishing industry and also accusing business leaders of misleading the public on Brexit.
The 500,000 beer mats will be in use in its 893 pubs across the UK.
The beer mat states that big business has tried to fool the public by saying that food prices will rise, without a deal with the EU.
It says the statement is not true and that the EU imposes high tariffs on non-EU food imports, which keeps prices high.
And it calls on MPs to eliminate tariffs and reduce food prices by leaving the EU in March 2019 – and states that the UK can save an additional £200 million per week in EU contributions.
Three industry leaders, Whitbread chairman Richard Baker, Sainsbury’s chairman David Tyler and CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn, are highlighted on the beer mat as proponents of the false claims.
Wetherspoon has also used the beer mat to show its support for Britain’s fishing industry, by backing Fishing for Leave.
It states that in March 2019, parliament can reclaim rights to the UK’s historic fishing grounds, ending EU policies which have devastated many coastal communities.
Additionally it calls on MPs to support British fisherman by voting to leave the EU in March 2019 and says that a transitional deal delays leaving and allows EU boats to continue catching 60 per cent of the UK’s fish.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said: “ Brexit is the single biggest issue for the UK and we believe the beer mats are a great way of getting our message over to our customers.
“The ‘thundering herd’ of the CBI, big business and most economists got it wrong over the exchange rate mechanism, the euro and the effect of a leave vote.
“Their latest red herring is that we need a ‘deal’ to avoid a ‘cliff edge’, which will dramatically put up food prices.
“This is untrue – parliament can eliminate food tariffs and reduce prices by about 3.5 pence per meal if the UK avoids a deal and reverts to World Trade Organisation rules.
“Big business should be ashamed of its unscrupulous attempt to mislead the public.”
Fishing for Leaves Alan Hastings added :
“Fishing for Leave are delighted to have such a major name and institution in public life as Wetherspoons back the campaign to ‘take back control’ of our nations fishing waters”.
“A huge thanks must go to Tim Martin and his team for doing so. Fishing is one of our nation’s finest natural resources that was sold out to EU control with such devastating consequences for towns synonymous with fishing”
“Brexit gives us a chance to right that wrong and automatically regain national control of all UK waters and resources under international law on 29th March 2019 to be like Norway, Faroe and Iceland.”
“This would see the UK regain the 60% of our fish the EU catches in our waters and see coastal communities rejuvenated by a potential £6.3bn windfall.
“The CFP has been an environmental and social disaster. The government must scrap the CFP and replacing it with UK policy that works for all fishermen large business or small”.
“Most importantly it must end the crazy discards policy of catching and dumping more fish than necessary to match what a quota says you can keep”.
“The government must not sell coastal communities short by adopting or continuing the CFP with a transition period – continuing to obey EU laws after Brexit Day in 2019 would be a betrayal of not just fishing but this country as a whole.”