Pulling out of the EU is about reclaiming the UK’s democracy, says pub chain boss Tim Martin.
The Wetherspoons founder and chairman was at The William Jameson in Sunderland city centre today to talk to staff and customers about why he thinks ‘Out’ is the right way to vote.
Tim hit the headlines earlier in the campaign when it emerged the pub chain had printed 200,000 beer mats arguing for the UK to leave the EU which would be available in the company’s 920 pubs nationwide.
The firm has also produced its own Wetherspoons News: “It contains a few articles, for and against the European Union, including one I wrote myself,” said Tim.
He decided to intervene in the debate after becoming angry at what he saw as an attempt to dodge the big questions by the Prime Minister and Chancellor.
“What was happening was that Osborne and Cameron were roping in their friends, like Christine Lagarde from the International Monetary Fund and the guy from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,” he said.
“They were holding press conferences and photo opportunities but Cameron and Osborne wouldn’t answer any questions.
“I thought the beermats allowed a couple of questions to be asked that I think the press would have asked had they been given the option.”
He believes the EU has become too removed from the people who pay for it: “Democracy always produces prosperity,” he said.
“There are many examples around the world, but a graphic one would be how well West Germany did compared to East Germany, or the United States – which has democracy embedded in its history – as opposed to South America which has had a lot of problems with dictatorships.
“I think democracy has always worked to make countries prosperous but the EU is becoming undemocratic.
“There are technical reasons for that but the main one is that the people who make the laws, the European Commissioners, are not elected.
“The other main point is that the European Court makes laws which are superior to ours.
“If you think something is wrong, you have got no way to rectify it – that is undemocratic.
“I think we should vote for democracy.”