The founder of pub chain Wetherspoon came to Weymouth as part of a tour promoting a no-deal Brexit – and for many it seemed there was no debate to be had.

Tim Martin was cheered and applauded as he walked into The Swan pub on St Thomas Street yesterday, to give his views on what he sees as the huge economic advantages of leaving the EU without a deal.

He commented later that it was the biggest audience yet on his tour and admitted it was 'rowdy but friendly'.

The pro-Brexit pub boss is visiting 100 of his venues in the countrywide tour.

Dorset Echo:

On Friday, Mr Martin gave his opinion on a range of matters including adopting a free trade approach like countries including New Zealand, Canada and Australia, gaining control of fishing areas, and cutting tariffs on non-EU products.

He also told customers that the UK can avoid paying the £39 billion withdrawal bill if a no-deal Brexit occurs, and that he thinks the Irish backstop is "not a bona fide issue."

Mr Martin said: "There's a lot of doom and gloom about Brexit. Everyone knows it's a silly idea to say everything has to depend on a deal. It's a once in a generation decision."

After a 10 minute talk, Mr Martin opened the floor for questions and was met with a resounding level of support from the crowd – with not much in the way of debate. One person even shouted: "You should be Prime Minister."

A supporter said: "I think you are 100 per cent right. My concern is what would happen to Northern Ireland with no deal?"

Mr Martin said: "The UK government says 'we don't want infrastructure at the border.

"The Irish backstop has been raised as an issue to frustrate Brexit, I don't think it's a bona fide issue."

Another person asked: "Why did we have no cross-party Brexit team?", to which Mr Martin said: "I don't know."

Speaking to the Echo after the talk and Q and A session, Mr Martin said: "I think this is the busiest one yet – it was rowdy but friendly. I know there is a lot of support for Brexit in Weymouth.

"I'm sad to say that there is an elite in this country who have a strong sense of entitlement, and think they know better than the voters. That is, in a way, what the EU represents."

Two pro-EU supporters, who have been to several of Mr Martin's talks on his 100-leg pub tour, say they completely disagree with his views.

Jason Hunter, one of the creators of the #3Blokes In A Pub podcast, and David Maslin, were asked to leave The Swan before the talk even began.

Mr Maslin said: "I'm disappointed at the principle of it. Tim said that it was going to be a debate and that's what we've tried to do. I'm here for the UK not for the EU, but I think leaving the EU is going to be very bad for the country.

"We're in a difficult position because this Referendum was called. The best way is to have a People's Vote."

Mr Hunter said they were trying to give evidence and facts to oppose what Mr Martin is saying, but were not given the opportunity to.

Mr Martin's press team said it was due to Mr Maslin and Mr Hunter trying to "shut Mr Martin down" at previous events.