Commenting on the results, Tim Martin, the Chairman of J D Wetherspoon plc, said:
“There will be a huge gain for business and consumers if the UK copies the free trade approach of countries like Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Israel, by slashing protectionist EU import taxes (‘tariffs’), on leaving the EU in March next year.
“These invisible tariffs are charged on over 12,000 non-EU products, including rice, oranges, coffee, wine and children’s clothes. The proceeds are collected by the UK taxman and sent to Brussels.
“Ending tariffs will reduce shop and pub prices, improve living standards, and will help non-EU suppliers, currently discouraged by tariffs, quotas and the extensive paraphernalia of EU protectionism.
“If parliament votes to end tariffs and rejects the ‘Chequers Deal’, consumers and business will benefit additionally by avoiding a cost of £39 billion, or £60 million per UK constituency, in respect of the EU ‘divorce payment’ – for which there is no legal obligation.
“Parliament can also regain control of UK fishing waters, where 60% of the catch is currently taken by EU boats.
“Unfortunately, some individuals, businesses and business organisations have mistakenly, or misleadingly, repeated the myth that food prices will rise without a ‘deal’ with the EU.
“In fact, the only way prices can rise post-Brexit is if parliament votes to impose tariffs. The EU will have no say in the matter, provided that the government does not sign away the UK’s rights in a ‘deal’ in the meantime.
“An article on this subject, which has appeared in several pub trade publications, can be found in appendix 1 below.
“Like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 9 September increased by 5.5%. The company has had a reasonable start to the financial year, but taxes, labour and interest costs are expected to be higher than those of last year, so we estimate that like-for-like sales growth of about 4.0% will be required for the company to match last year’s record profits.”