Pub company Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim Martin has written to all MPs (see letter below), alleging poor decision-making by the government in its Covid-19 policies. The letter encloses an online edition of Wetherspoon News with articles by a range of commentators, querying government policies.
Mr Martin said: “It is a fallacy that pubs will reopen on Wednesday 2 December. The government has effectively closed all pubs in England, by stealth- possibly for the first time in history.
“A pub licence, unlike a restaurant licence, allows you to sell beer, wine and spirits “for consumption on the premises”, without a table meal- and this is now prohibited.
“The reality is that pubs in tier 3 will be physically shut from 2 December and pubs in tier 2, if they open at all, will be trading as restaurants, not pubs. There are only a tiny number of pubs in tier 1- and in those you can’t even order at the bar.
“I decided to write to all MPs on Friday, because the government is making reckless decisions, using emergency powers, and MPs only have an occasional opportunity to intervene- there will be a vote in Parliament on Tuesday.
“There is overwhelming scientific evidence that lockdowns and quasi-lockdowns can be counterproductive, as the World Health Organisation has recently emphasised.
“The government has spent around £350 billion on lockdowns so far – around three times what is spent annually on the health service. That expenditure will continue at about £6 billion a week for the indefinite future.
“I am hopeful that MPs will see that the government is embarking on economically ruinous policies, with no health benefits.
“Pubs have invested tens of millions of pounds to make them safe, in accordance with regulations devised by the government, local authorities and health officials. The test and trace results show that there has been very little transfer of the virus in pubs and restaurants.”