Wetherspoons to stop selling Champagne and replace it with non-EU drinks in run-up to Brexit

Tom Powell
Wetherspoon pubs will sell more drinks from the UK and non-EU brewers in the run up to Brexi: Getty Images

Wetherspoon pubs are set to stop selling Champagne and focus instead on drinks from the UK and outside of the EU in the run up to Brexit.

The pub giant has announced plans to replace French sparkling wines and German wheat beers with similar products from the UK and Australia.

The switch will affect all 880 Wetherspoons venues from July 9, the chain revealed.

Chairman Tim Martin, a strong supporter of Brexit, said: "This move helps us to broaden our horizons so that we create an improved offer for the two million customers who visit our pubs each week.

Wetherspoon's chairman Tim Martin is campaigning to reduce the level of VAT paid in pubs (AFP/Getty Images)

"It is the start of a review all products in the next six to 24 months, with the object of making our business more competitive.

"The EU's customs union is a protectionist system which is widely misunderstood.

"It imposes tariffs on the 93 per cent 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.

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

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

"We intend to honour existing contracts with EU suppliers, some of which have several years to run.

The chain will roll out the changes at all of its 880 pubs from July 9 (PA Wire/PA Images)

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

Sparkling wines from the UK will include Denbies Sparkling Whitedowns Brut and Whitedowns Rose Brut, as well as Hardys Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay from Australia.

The pubs will also serve wheat beers from the UK - Blue Moon Belgian White, Thornbridge Versa Weisse Beer and SA Brains Atlantic White.

Wetherspoons will continue to serve Kopparberg cider from Sweden.

Kopparberg has confirmed that it will be producing its cider in the UK post-Brexit.

Alcohol-free Adnams Ghost Ship will replace Erdinger alcohol-free beer from Germany.