wetherspoons brexit news champagne eu

Wetherspoons: The pub chain will stop selling champagne next month ahead of Brexit

Wetherspoons will no longer sell champagne at its pub branches ahead of Brexit, JD Wetherspoon company founder Tim Martin has confirmed.

Champagne will be replaced with sparking wines originating from UK suppliers like Denbies vineyard, as well as Hardys Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay from Australia.

The pub chain will move away from selling products made in the European Union ahead of the United Kingdom’s exit next year.

Brexit will see the UK exit the European Union on 29 March 2019. Tim famously campaigned for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

The move away from champagne and other EU-produced products is “inevitable”, Tim said in a statement on the company website.

Pub chain Wetherspoons will stop selling champagne in its branches

“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.”

Champagne will no longer be stocked at Wetherspoons from next month, it has been announced.

However, not all EU products will disappear. A review will take place over the next six to 24 months to decide, according to Tim.

He said: “We intend to honour existing contracts with EU suppliers, some of which have several years to run.

wetherspoons brexit news champagne eu

Wetherspoons: The chain will move away from EU products in the run up to Brexit

“However, we are starting to make the transition to non-EU trade now.”

Tim went on later in the statement to refer to the EU customs union as “a protectionist system which is widely misunderstood”.

“It imposes tariffs on the 93% of the world that is not in the EU, keeping prices high for UK consumers.

“Tariffs are imposed on wine from Australia, New Zealand and the US, and also on coffee, oranges, rice and more than 12,000 other products,” he said.

In the past year, Britons have spent £5.5 billion on wine and champagne according to UK sales figures.

wetherspoons brexit news champagne eu

Wetherspoons: Champagne will be replaced by sparkling wine

The huge sum is up nearly £200 million on the previous 12 months, according to the new figures.

However, sales are up just 0.8 per cent, showing that prices are up and consumers are spending more on a bottle.

It means middle of the road brands such as Hardys and Echo Falls are down £60 million, while posher rivals like Barefoot and Yellow Tail are up 30 per cent.

Prices are up due to weaker sterling and a year of poor harvests, according to The Grocer magazine.

Laura Christen, of analysts Kantar Worldpanel said: “Premiumisation and Brexit-fuelled uncertainty have driven up prices across almost all sectors.”

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