Wetherspoon's boss: Everyone cheer up about Brexit

 
Emma Haslett
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Wetherspoon's Opens The First Motorway Pub On The M40
Brexit brightness: it's going to be ok, said Tim Martin (Source: Getty)

All this doom-mongering has become too much for Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin, who finally came out and said it this morning: everyone needs to cheer up about Brexit.

Martin, who in the run-up to the referendum was so passionately pro-Brexit he had special beermats printed, hit back at "unprecedented and irresponsible doom-mongering", warning that all the negativity "may lead to some kind of slowdown".

In a pre-close trading update, Wetherspoon's said like-for-like sales had increased four per cent in the 11 weeks to 10 July, while it expected operating margin to hit £3.8m in the year to 24 July.

It said it had opened 13 new pubs since the beginning of the financial year, selling 29 and closing 11, and expected to open 16 new ones in this financial year.

But in a rambling statement Martin hit out at the likes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bank of England governor Mark Carney, the Treasury, the CBI, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PwC and "many FTSE 100 chief executives".

"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," he said.

"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.

"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."

The statement caused shares to rise 2.5 per cent to 761.5p. It looks like it might all be ok...

U ok hun? Tim Martin's statement in full

"As most people will be aware, an unusual number of forecasts for the UK economy have been made in the run-up to, and the aftermath of, the referendum. Most of the forecasts from representatives of institutions which are normally responsible for financial stability were extremely negative.

"For example, the International Monetary Fund`s Christine Lagarde said in May that a leave vote in the referendum would be "pretty bad to very, very bad".

"An IMF report additionally said that a leave vote would have a 'negative and substantial effect'.

"Similar comments were made by the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. HM Treasury also warned that Brexit would cost the average household about £4,000 per annum in the future. The CBI, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, PWC and many FTSE 100 CEOs, among others, supported this negative view.

"The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne repeatedly warned that mortgage and interest rates were likely to rise in the event of a leave vote and threatened an emergency budget to increase taxes and to reduce public expenditure.

"Osborne`s stance was supported by Prime Minister David Cameron, who also forecast an increased likelihood of war and genocide.

"Unbeknown to most voters, one of the "architects" of the Remain campaign, which devised the above approach, was Peter Mandelson ("How the struggle for Europe was lost", Peter Mandelson, Financial Times, 2 July), who worked closely with Cameron, Osborne and others.

"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.

"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."

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