Prominent Brexiteer Tim Martin has claimed he needed more EU workers to fill vacancies in his huge chain of bars.
Wetherspoons has lost over £ 200 million due to what Martin calls “draconian restrictions” and the use of bans.
It was only the second time JD Wetherspoon has gone into the red since it went public in 1984.
Now, however, the chain has another major problem, a staff shortage.
Martin previously urged 40,000 of his employees to get a job at Tesco during the pandemic, but now may regret those comments.
“Some areas of the country, particularly ‘residence areas’ in the West Country and elsewhere, are having a hard time attracting staff,” said Martin.
Why is Wetherspoons understaffed?
Wetherspoons founder and chairman Mr Martin has blamed the UK’s low birth rate and UK immigration rules post-Brexit for the staff shortage.
The number of EU citizens looking for work in the UK has fallen by 36 percent and over 200,000 Europeans have returned to mainland Europe in the last 12 months.
Martin had previously donated over £ 200,000 to Vote Leave during the EU referendum, but now needs an immigration system that gives people free time.
He claims Britain now needs: “A reasonably liberal immigration system controlled by our elected”.
This is not the first time Martin’s business has been hit by logistical issues related to Brexit.
In September 2021, Wetherspoons was hit by a shortage of beer due to a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers, a good part of whom left the UK after Brexit made traveling between mainland Europe and the UK difficult.
In a number of Martins 837 branches, the taps of popular pints like Carling, Coors and Heineken dried up.
Molson Coors blamed the truck driver shortage: “Like many in our great UK brewery and pub sector, we are hit by the truck driver shortage.”
“Although our availability is good overall, there are occasional pressure points in our supply network, which unfortunately affect a number of Wetherspoon’s pubs.”