It was standing room only in the John Logie Baird Wetherspoons this morning as hundreds of people turned out to hear Wetherspoons founder and boss Tim Martin speak out in favour of a no deal Brexit.
Mr Martin stood in front of the bar dressed in jeans and a black polo shirt to address the large crowd, most of who seemed to be over the age of 55.
A French television crew were there to cover the event.
He told the audience that Britain would save the £39 billion exit fee if there was a no deal scenario, stating: “There would be no obligation to pay anything and that money would be better invested in the UK.”
Leave supporters were in the ascendency with some holding up Union Jack flags and pro-leave posters.
The mood was fractious at times with the few pro-remain supporters angrily shouted down when they tired to interrupt Mr Martin on points he was making. At one point an angry pensioner squared up to a leave supporter and snarled: “Why don’t you go back to where you came from.”
A huge cheer went up when Mr Martin said that leaving the EU would see us taking back control of our fishing waters.
Mr Martin said: “There are 12,000 items that would could make a saving on. New Zealand and Canada have slashed a lot of their tariffs. We want to put forward the idea that we are open to business.”
Commenting on how he has replaced many EU drinks, Mr Martin said: “The volume of shooters we sell has actually gone up since we replaced German Jagermeister with Strika, an alternative made in Chorley.
“He said: “The principal is that anything you can buy from the EU you can buy from elsewhere. We can increase the level of democracy.”
William Hirst asked: “If we abolish all tariffs, what is the incentive for other countries to reduce tariffs.
“Tim replied: “Others have adopted free trade and not found it to be harmful. Without tariffs you lose some bargaining power but gain a lot of good will. In the end democracy will win.”
There were loud cheers and applause at the end of the 45 minute session.
People queued to shake Tim Martin’s hand at the end and to pose for selfie photographs with him before he left for his next destination - Eastbourne.