Brexit pound slump is good for the UK economy, says Wetherspoons owner who campaigned to leave the EU

His comments came after the pound endured its worst four-day performance since the EU referendum on Tuesday 

Zlata Rodionova
Wednesday 12 October 2016 11:03 BST
Tim Martin says a lower pound is a good thing for Britain

Tim Martin, founder of JD Wetherspoon and a vocal Brexit campaigner, said the decline of the pound is actually good news for the British economy.

His comments came after the pound endured its worst four-day performance since the EU referendum on Tuesday as investors grew increasingly alarmed at the prospect of a severe rupture between the UK and EU.

Heavy losses sent sterling down by more than 2 per cent on Tuesday to below $1.21 against the dollar, while against the euro it fell below €1.10.

Martin, who distributed 500,000 beer mats calling for the UK to leave the EU prior to the June referendum, argued the lower pound acted as an “economic stabiliser for the country”.

“I think that the pound floats. It's an economic stabiliser for the country. We needed the lower pound because we had a current account deficit,” he told LBC radio

Martin added that the lower pound will bring more tourists to the UK.

He said: "The problem you've got is if you're in the eurozone and you're Greece or Portugal and you're hitched to the euro which is effectively part of the old Deutcshmark and your currency is far too high for your for your economy. Then you're in 50% youth unemployment."

"So we're doing well. The pound goes up and down. It's a great press story, lovely for you guys, but it's a good thing for the country."

Some economists have warned that the tumbling value of the pound against the US dollar, euro and other currencies since Britain voted to leave the EU could have a significant impact on British consumers and businesses.

Sterling recovered some lost ground on Wednesday, trading back over the $1.23 mark after MPs demanded “a full and transparent” debate on Britain’s exit from the EU.

Despite Wednesday’s rally, the pound is still around 5 per cent weaker than before the Conservative Party conference, where Theresa May promised to trigger article 50 within six months.

And against the euro the pound is 15 per cent down.

Neil Wilson, analyst at City firm ETX Capital, said the the pound could suffer more volatility, as the political drama around Brexit continues to play out.

He said : “Theresa May’s decision last night to allow the House of Commons a debate on the government’s Brexit plans before triggering Article 50 seems to have allayed some of the concerns about a ‘hard Brexit’ that had dominated since her speech at the Conservative Party conference. Bank of England policymakers had also appeared to talk the currency lower.”

“But if traders think the mood is turning bullish for the pound, they’re mistaken. The bears are still very much in control and this relief rally looks like a dead cat bounce.”

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