EU referendum: Chairman of JD Wetherspoon sets out his argument for a Brexit - "democracy equals prosperity"

William Turvill
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Tim Martin, the chairman of JD Wetherspoon, believes "democracy is being removed by the European Union" (Source: Getty)

The chairman of pubs chain JD Wetherspoon has today set out his reasoning for backing a so-called Brexit.

Tim Martin was one of 250 business leaders to give their support to the Vote Leave campaign today.

Explaining his decision, Martin said: "Democracy equals prosperity. And slowly democracy is being removed by the European Union."

Read more: Brexit campaign group names 250 business backers

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The power has been put into the hands of unelected people in Europe.

"And the Greeks and the Spanish and so on have seen it more than we have, where they don't even have control over the own budget or over their own business rates, which are the key controls that a democratic country has.”

Read more: Poll finds growing support for a Brexit - but Remain retains lead

In addition to unveiling a new list of business leader backers, Vote Leave also released the results of a new YouGov poll today.

It showed that 31 per cent of SMEs believe the EU makes it harder for them to employ people. This compared with 14 per cent who believe the EU makes it easier to do so.

The poll of 1,002 SMEs also found 32 per cent believe the EU hinders businesses like theirs, versus 25 per cent who say it helps.

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