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Peter Olszewski
Peter Olszewski,
ASSOCIATE - SOLICITOR
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Brexit and the Leisure & hospitality sector
30 July 2018

High street pub chain JD Wetherspoon announced that it would be ditching its Champagne and German beers range as of 9 July 2018 in preparation for Brexit and in their place, replacement beverages from the UK such as Hardys and Denbies as well as drinks from Australia. 

JD Wetherspoon get 'Brexit ready'

JD Wetherspoon Founder, Tim Martin is a former barrister and a famous critic of the EU. Previously Tim spent £40,000 on “vote no” beer coasters and posters which were rolled out across all of the pubs within the chain in 2016.

The chain has promised to honour all existing contracts with EU beverage suppliers, though these will be reviewed when they end and it is predicted they will not be renewed. The reason behind switching to non-EU brands has been put down to pricing as the EU places export tarrifs on products being shipped to non-EU member states.

How are the rest of the Leisure & hospitality sector viewing Brexit?  

UK Hospitality has stated that Brexit is likely to cause a massive staffing problem if stiff immigration controls are put in to place. According to UK Hospitality, some 60,000 jobs a year are filled in the British hospitality industry by EU workers and it may be the case that there is a staff shortage or that existing staff will need to increase their working hours. UK Hospitality also fears that other industry sectors will face similar problems. 

As much as 67% of British tourism comes from Europe. Whilst it is unlikely Brexit will limit or prevent EU tourists from visiting the UK, it is feared that Brexit may deter EU tourists to the UK which directly affects the leisure and hospitality industry and the UK economy generally.

UK Hospitality has called on the government to improve technical qualifications within the leisure and hospitality industry with better promotion within schools. It is hoped that this will help to create more careers for British workers within the industry, with 67,000 new careers for long-term unemployed Brits already having been created in partnership with a scheme launched by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Boyes Turner are also mindful that post Brexit, many employers may struggle with recruiting EU workers, due to work visa requirements, whilst at the same time many EU workers may choose to avoid working in the UK if stiff immigration rules apply to which family members they can bring with them to Britain on a work permit.

If you would like to discuss any employment concerns with us please contact us at leisure&[email protected].

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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