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Wetherspoon boss and Minister for International Trade to headline WSTA conference

Published:  21 July, 2017

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has announced two keynote speakers for this year’s annual conference – Lord Price, the Minister of State for International Trade, and Wetherspoon boss, Tim Martin.

The event, which returns to The Royal Institution of Great Britain on September 12, will take Brexit as its main theme under the title of Trading Spaces: Creative partnerships with the EU and the rest of the world.

Price and Martin will share their views on how to plan for the challenges and opportunities ahead in conversation with former ITN political news editor, Alex Forrest, who will help to frame the debate.

Martin is well-known for taking a pro-Brexit stance in the run up to the referendum – one of the few top business leaders to speak out in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

As the founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon, he was educated at eleven different schools around the globe before eventually studying law and qualifying as a barrister, which he gave up to set up the pub company in 1979.

Wetherspooon is now UK’s largest pub chain, with over 900 UK outlets (plus 50 hotel) and 38,000 employees.

Lord Mark Price joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1982.

He spent 17 years on the board of Waitrose, becoming managing director in 2007.

He was made a life peer and appointed Minister of State for Trade and Investment in 2016.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said today the two business leaders are “guaranteed to stimulate interesting debate” on how the UK trade can survive and prosper post-Brexit.

“We know there will be challenging times ahead for our members and our aim is to work together to find the best way through which allows our industry’s historic trade flows to remain intact. But we need also to look to the future and global opportunities,” Beale added.

Following Beale’s opening State of the Industry address and conversations with Lord Price and Martin, a panel of experts will debate the future of the industry.

Names will be released closer to the event.

Tickets for the event are now available at