Pre-tax profits at pub chain Wetherspoons fell by 19% to £50.3m to the end of January.
The drop in profits is being blamed on an increasing number of customers heeding the advice given by the chain’s founder Tim Martin and simply walking away rather than hanging about and settling their bill before they leave.
Mr Martin is currently touring 100 of his 900 pubs, chatting to customers about the merits of leaving the EU without paying the £39bn divorce bill.
‘Me and the missus nipped in to the local Spoons for an all-day full English and a couple of cheeky pints’ says customer Danny Barnes.
‘I was just pushing the mushrooms to the side of the plate when Tim Martin comes over and starts going off on one about Brexit and how we should just walk away without paying’.
‘It sounded like a good option so we took Tim’s advice and fucked off without paying the bill. We thought Tim would understand but he chased after us and told us we couldn’t leave without paying. I said ‘sorry Tim, leave means leave’.
Business analysts believe that some customers are now avoiding Wetherspoons because they prefer to have a quiet drink without being lectured about Brexit by a man who looks like a cross between Worzel Gummidge and Father Jack Hackett.
‘It certainly put me off going back to Wetherspoons’ agrees Londoner Melissa Harrington.
‘I was having a catch up with a girlfriend that I haven’t seen for ages when Tim came over and started droning on about bloody Brexit. The whole episode left a really bad taste in the mouth, a bit like that bloody awful British fizz they insist on serving these days. I suppose I’ll just have to find somewhere else to go to meet other functioning alcoholics who like to drink cheap booze at half-nine on a Tuesday morning’.