Wetherspoon's replaces French champagne with English wine in run-up to Brexit

Alys Key
Follow Alys
The new range includes English wine (Source: JD Wetherspoon)

JD Wetherspoon is to ditch French champagne and German wheat beers in favour of UK and non-EU products in the run-up to Brexit.

Founder and vocal Brexit supporter Tim Martin said that the move to non-EU suppliers would help to make prices lower in the long run, if the UK ends tariffs once it has left the customs union.

“There will be an inevitable transfer of trade post-Brexit to countries outside the EU, which will reduce prices in shops and pubs," he said.

“The products we are now introducing are at lower prices than the EU products they are replacing."

Sparkling wines from British producer Denbies will take the place of champagne, while the alcohol-free version of Adnams Ghost Ship will replace Germany's Erdinger alcohol-free beer.

Martin told City A.M. that demand for champagne had dwindled at the chain, making up only 10 per cent of the 2m bottles of bubbly shifted at Wetherspoon's pubs every year.

When asked if he was a fan of English wine, Martin said: "I'm more of a beer drinker, I have had a glass or two but I'm not sure I'm the guy who can tell the difference between prosecco, champagne and English wine."

The new drinks will be in pubs from 9 July.

Swedish cider Kopparberg makes it past the cull, due to the company's decision to make its cider in UK after Brexit.

But EU brands will not disappear from the bar completely. Wetherspoon's will honour contracts with several suppliers, some of which last for years.

Martin has previously argued that if the UK ends tariffs and agrees to unilateral free trade, Wetherspoon's pints could be made cheaper.

“Free trade and the ending of tariffs will reduce prices, boosting living standards and helping business," he said today.

“This will not be possible if we remain in the EU’s customs union. Ending tariffs will also help to minimise border inspections, and will benefit poorer countries in Africa and elsewhere, which are penalised by EU protectionism.”

Read more: Wetherspoons sales slow - but Martin is more focused on customs union

Related articles