AN outspoken businessman and never one to miss an opportunity to air his views on Brexit, JD Wetherspoon’s founder and chairman Tim Martin isn’t hanging about.

He wants out of Europe and his 880 pubs across the UK have already ditched French champagne in favour of sparkling wine from the UK and Australia. Wetherspoon has also swapped German wheat beer for UK and American alternatives.

This is all good and well and Mr Martin is to be commended for putting his money where his mouth is. But will British drinkers with a penchant for French champagne want to switch? Only time will tell.

Wetherspoon attributed a 5.2 per cent increase in like-for-like sales for the 10 weeks to July to exceptional warm weather and a stellar performance from England in the World Cup. But this long, hot summer won’t last indefinitely and the World Cup final takes place on Sunday.

Brexit aside, Mr Martin must now explore ways of mitigating next year’s anticipated cost increases due to rising business rates, wages and the soft drinks industry levy. He predicts that these will be considerable so some serious number crunching is required.

One analyst said that the colourful Wetherspoon boss “clearly hopes for a buccaneering, free-trading future outside the EU” while another pointed to him “unashamedly using public announcements as a platform for his views”.

Wetherspoon has stood the test of time for nearly 40 years, evolving to meet the needs and demands of the people who frequent its pubs. This is a pub chain that does pretty much what it says on the tin and couldn’t care less what sniffy restaurant critics say about its food.

But will Mr Martin’s forthright views on Brexit impact on takings at the tills? Those who frequent outlets such as The Counting House in Glasgow and The Standing Order in Edinburgh will vote with their feet – and their cash.

He has taken that gamble and we await with interest the release of the final results in September.