A pub chain owner who played a leading role in campaigning for Britain to leave the EU has told Theresa May to be bolder in her Brexit demands.
Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin said the Prime Minister needed ‘alternatives’ and must be willing to walk away from the EU without a deal.
Outlining his four-point plan for a successful break with Brussels, Mr Martin said: ‘To get a good deal, you need options. If there’s only one pub or supermarket in town, you’ll pay over the odds.
Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin said the Prime Minister needed to ‘alternatives’ and must be willing to walk away from the EU without a deal
‘For the UK to get a good deal from the EU, there must be an alternative to show we are serious.
‘A “no-deal” alternative would leave the UK much better off than it is today.’
Mr Martin urged the Prime Minister to leave the single market and customs union next March and abolish import taxes on non-EU products, which would ‘immediately reduce prices in pubs and shops across the country’.
He added the government should also canceled the £39 billion Brexit bill, which he dubbed a ‘leaving gift’, and invest the money on local projects. He said each 650 parliamentary constituency would receive around £60 million.
Theresa May must be bold and ‘show some steel’ in talks with the EU, according to Tim Martin
The other two points involved in Mr Martin’s plans involved taking back control of Britain’s territorial fishing waters and granting UK citizenship to EU migrants who had moved to Britain legally.
He added EU bureaucrats had taken advantage of the Prime Minister’s ‘desperation’ and called on her to ‘show some steel’, as he claims it is the EU who need a deal more than the UK.
He told the Daily Express: ‘Theresa May is a decent person, but has boxed herself in. She has made the UK appear weak by listening to the fanatics who advocate a deal at all costs.’
Philip Hammond was accused last night of failing to prepare for the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal
It comes after the Chancellor was accused last night of failing to prepare for the possibility of Britain leaving the EU without a deal and of wanting to keep the City too closely tied to Brussels.
Tory MPs demanded last weekend that ministers step up preparations for a ‘no deal’ Brexit to give Theresa May the ability to walk out of negotiations if Brussels refuses to agree satisfactory terms.
Eurosceptics raised fears that contingency planning had ground to a halt in Whitehall, making it almost impossible for the Prime Minister to follow through on her threat to walk away if necessary.
Meanwhile, former civil servants warned that contingency planning for Brexit was far from where it should be for Mrs May to say realistically that Britain could exit the EU without a deal in March 2019.
Tory MP James Duddridge said last night: ‘Preparations for no deal are essential. Without no deal as a credible option we have little negotiating power.’
Fellow Tory Andrew Bridgen added: ‘Not preparing for no deal undermines our position and makes no deal more likely.’