Wetherspoon's chairman Tim Martin popped into the company’s Square Bottle pub in Chester city centre to tell his customers leaving the EU will lead to cheaper wine and food prices.

And the national chain has printed 200,000 beer mats, signed by Mr Martin, promoting the 'leave EU' cause ahead of the June 23 in-out referendum.

Mr Martin told The Chronicle over a coffee at the Foregate Street outlet that he believes Wetherspoon's customers would benefit from Brexit.

He said: "I think we'll get lower wine prices and we'll definitely get lower food prices because the EU imposes high food tariffs, beer is mostly made in this country so I don't think the price of it will go down.

Related story: Chester Wetherspoon's hotel is 'going ahead'

"But I think we''ll get lower wine and lower food prices. A lot of the subsidies go to European farmers."

The pub supremo, who lives in Exeter, doesn't believe the trade barriers the UK would face if it went alone 'are as huge as is made out'.

Stressing the point, Mr Martin explained that Wetherpoon is the biggest seller of wine in managed British pubs yet sources only 5% from EU countries who can't compete on price with the likes of Australia, New Zealand South Africa and South America.

"I'm really confident we'll be able to do really well," added Mr Martin, who is hopeful the government's 'scaremongering message' has back-fired.

He continued: "I think the key issue for people is democracy. You don't chuck democracy away lightly and it has been slowly moving abroad.

"Decisions are being made by people who haven't been elected and we can't deselect."

Tim Martin, founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon, spoke to The Chronicle this morning over a coffee rather than a pint
Tim Martin, founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon, spoke to The Chronicle this morning over a coffee rather than a pint

He added: "I think prosperity emanates from democracy. The government has slightly muddied the water by turning it around and saying Britain's prosperity stems from a trading agreement with some countries in Europe.

"And therefore if you leave the trading agreement economic Armageddon will occur, but they need evidence for that."

Mr Martin says there is 'no contest' in terms of affluence if you compare West Germany versus the old East Germany, South Korea versus North Korea or North America versus South America.

"Democracy unleashes very powerful forces," Mr Martin concluded.

Wetherspoon's has just sold The Forest House in Love Street but has bought The Bull and Stirrup in Upper Northgate Street for conversion into a pub and hotel which he confirmed will go ahead despite delays.

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