No-deal Brexit could reduce food prices, says Wetherspoon in beermat 'manifesto'
Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has issued half a million beermats with its "manifesto" for a successful Brexit, including rights of citizenship for legal EU migrants.
The message says food prices in pubs and shops will be cut if the Government eliminates import taxes on food from outside the EU.
The company has four bars in Northern Ireland and plans to open another two in Belfast.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin, who went to school in Northern Ireland, said: "There has been a co-ordinated campaign to dupe the public. Parliament has the power to reduce food prices at a stroke in March 2019.
"The EU imposes huge taxes on food imports from the rest of the world. World Trade Organisation rules, contrary to the urban myth, allow the UK to follow free trade champions like New Zealand, Australia and Singapore, which have drastically reduced or eliminated these taxes.
"Wetherspoon calculates that it will save an average of 3.5p per meal and 0.5p per drink if we leave the EU and abolish food import taxes in March 2019.
"Similar savings are likely to be made on meals consumed inside or outside the home in the UK.
"These savings will be lost in a transitional deal, since tariffs on non-EU food will still apply.
"There is absolutely no doubt that food prices will be cheaper without a deal, if the UK chooses the free trade option."
The beer mats will be distributed to JD Wetherspoon's 895 pubs across the UK.