Wetherspoons prepares for Brexit by replacing EU-sourced drinks with British brands

French champagne and German beers will be substituted for alternatives from the UK and other countries outside the bloc.

Kopparberg, a popular cider made in Sweden, will still be stocked because production is moving to Britain after Brexit.

Tim Martin, who founded Wetherspoons and campaigned for Brexit, said the chain was “starting to make the transition to non-EU trade” ahead of Britain’s expected exit date of 29 March 2019.

Among the UK-brewed beers to get a stocking boost are Blue Moon Belgian White, Thornbridge Versa Weisse Beer and SA Brains Atlantic White.

Champagne will also be replaced by Denbies Whitedowns Sparkling and its Brut Rose – both made in the UK.

Australian Hardys Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay will also appear on the menu.

Mr Martin claimed the move would help Wetherspoons “broaden our horizons”, hitting out at the EU’s “protectionist” customs union.

Prime Minister Theresa May has promised Britain will quit the group which sets universal import duties when it leaves the EU.

Mr Martin said: “The EU’s customs union is a protectionist system which is widely misunderstood.

“It imposes tariffs on the 93% 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.

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

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