Thirsty work as pub boss backs Brexit calls

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Wetherspoon’s founder and chairman Tim Martin was ready for a drink when he visited The Grey Friar pub in Preston.

Because the keen Brexit supporter is visiting 100 of his chain’s pubs in the lead up to the EU Referendum.

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin on the Brexit campaign trail in the Grey Friar pub in Preston

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin on the Brexit campaign trail in the Grey Friar pub in Preston

That equates to a whistle-stop tour of six or seven towns yesterday, and eight the previous day.

Mr Martin has nailed his colours to the mast by having 200,000 beer mats printed calling for Britain to leave the EU.

The beer mats take a particular swipe at the International Monetary Fund and its chief, Christine Lagarde.

Mr Martin said: “We’ve got to have a debate.

“To be honest, I was concerned about alienating people but I’ve asked around here today and I’m told no-one has objected to the beer mats.”

Ms Lagarde said recently that the IMF saw “no positives” for a Brexit and that the consequences could be “pretty bad to very, very bad”.

She stressed the IMF’s views on Brexit were completely independent, saying: “We are not into politics. It is out duty to lay out the facts.”

But Mr Martin said the IMF has lost credibility and support for Ms Legarde and the IMF from leading Tories smacked of “cronyism with knobs on”.

Mr Martin said the EU had become undemocratic and people were missing the big picture.

He said he campaigned against the Euro and this was now his second battle.

Leaving the EU would allow greater freedom, and show that a nation’s success did not come about purely through trade treaties .

Mr Martin said he saw no threat to the UK licensed trade from a Brexit.

“Pubs do beter when the country does better,” he said.