Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin: The likes of the FCA and CBI need to get over the fact we’re “hitched onto the Brexit caravan”

Wetherspoon’s boss Tim Martin this morning compared CBI head Carolyn Fairburn to Dad’s Army’s Private Frazer

Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin today pointed both barrels at the City’s regulator, sections

of the media and leading business organisations.

A prominent Brexiteer, Martin said the fact that Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn won “more votes for their parties than many thought possible” backed up the UK’s referendum result.

He added: “Thoughtful MPs and commentators realise that the UK star is irrevocably hitched to the Brexit caravan.”

The pub founder reiterated his view that clarity over a Brexit deal was “unrealistic and increases pressure to agree unfavourable terms”. And he criticised the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for asking the government to provide such clarity.

He said:

It also makes the FCA and similar organisations seem rather weak.

From regulators, Martin move on to criticising business organisations and the media for wanting more transparency in the Brexit process.

He said: “The majority of the public instinctively understands the government’s bargaining dilemma. Yet the supposedly Yet the supposedly supposedly sophisticated CBI, the Financial Times, the Times and the other usual suspects are vociferous in their forecasts of trouble in the absence of a free trade deal.

“As a result, they are loading the dice hugely in favour of EU negotiators.

The public’s message to Carolyn ‘We’re all doomed’ Fairbairn, head of the CBI, and other gloomsters is: put a sock in it.

“We’ll do well with or without a free trade deal, so stop tying the hands of our negotiators, who are doing their best to achieve a respectable outcome.”

A spokesperson for the CBI hit back, saying:

Rather than slinging mud, Mr Martin should know that all the major UK business groups have made clear the risks to the economy of leaving the EU without a deal.

“The prospect of multiple cliff edges – in tariffs, red tape and regulation – is already casting a long shadow over investment decisions for many firms in this country.

“The CBI and the wider business community is committed to making a success of the negotiations and helping to secure the most ambitious and comprehensive free trade deal ever agreed.”

The FCA declined to comment.



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