Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin calls for more EU immigration due to shortage of staff
The irony-0-meter is off the scale with this one....
Wetherspoons boss and prominent Brexiteer Tim Martin has called for more EU migration in order to help tackle the shortage of bar staff working on the UK.
Millionaire Martin encouraged the Prime Minister to adopt a "reasonably liberal immigration system" controlled by Britain rather than the EU.
The phrase "having your cake and eating it" comes to mind.
He has recommended that Boris Johnson adopt a visa scheme for workers from the EU to help the country's hospitality sector hire more staff as it recovers from the pandemic and lockdowns of the last 15 months.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Martin said: "The UK has a low birth rate. A reasonably liberal immigration system controlled by those we have elected, as distinct from the EU system, would be a plus for the economy and the country.
"America, Australia and Singapore have benefitted for many decades from this approach. Immigration combined with democracy works."
Unsurprisingly, the irony of Mr Martin's comments was not lost on the people of Twitter, with the Wetherspoons boss having been one of the most prominent British business voices advocating Brexit in the lead-up to the referendum in 2016.
Pro-EU campaigner Femi Oluwole wrote: "I really hope Tim Martin never runs into Tim Martin. He's gonna be so angry!"
I really hope Tim Martin never runs into Tim Martin. He's gonna be so angry! pic.twitter.com/DXyW3lyrS8
— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) June 1, 2021
Labour councillor Freddie Bailey, of Preston City Council, said: "Pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin has called for more EU migration to tackle the worker shortage.
"Do I really need to say anything?"
Pro-Brexit Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin has called for more EU migration to tackle the worker shortage.
Do I really need to say anything?
— Freddie (@FreddieBailey96) June 1, 2021
LBC reports that the pub chain has seen its number of workers drop by around 6,000 over the past year, with its 871 pubs across the UK and Ireland now employing almost 38,000 people.
Pubs and restaurants are facing a shortage of staff, with recruitment website Caterer.com estimating that roughly one in 10 hospitality workers have left the sector over the past 12 months, while the industry's trade body, UK Hospitality, says that there is a shortfall of about 188,000 workers due to successive lockdowns.
Although if you're considering going to work for Martin, maybe first just bare in mind some of the things he has said to his workers during the pandemic...