After the referendum – voices from Stone

After the referendum – voices from Stone

Christine Conlin checks the local temperature after the referendum

The result of the EU Referendum in Stafford Borough was as follows: 56% voted to leave the EU and 44% voted to remain in the EU. The turnout was 77.83%.

On the morning after the night before, I spent an hour in Stone High Street asking people to share their views on the referendum result. Many chose not to respond, but here are the eleven answers from those that did. (Ten are from eligible voters and one is from a person who was not eligible to vote.)

The balance of opinion here does not reflect the local or national referendum result. It was just a straw poll from people who were out and about in Stone High Street between 10.00 and 11.00am on Friday June 24th. But it is none the less interesting for that.

Our question was: What do you think about the Referendum decision to leave the European Union?

Gregory
Gregory

Gregory (69) Remain:

“Leaving the EU is a disaster. I remember the 1950s and 60s and what life was like before we joined in 1973. We’re throwing 40 years of prosperity to the wall. The people who voted out don’t know what they’ve let themselves in for.”

Stella (85) Leave:

“I’m happy! I don’t like unelected people in Brussels making laws for us. I’m sure we can steer our country in the right course once we get our sovereignty back. My businessman son is also keen to exit the EU. He trades in the USA and Japan and wants rid of petty EU rules and regulations. I’m glad I don’t have to run the country, but I’m sure they’ll find a way.”

Glynn (55) Remain:

“This decision to leave is mainly down to older people. In my view it’s mistaken, but it must be respected. Vested interests worldwide will ensure our country gets a good kicking. I voted to stay in but recognise that the EU hasn’t always worked for normal people. We’ll just have to fight our way through the consequences, but the country will struggle.”

Janet
Janet

Janet (61) Remain:

“I’m not happy about the consequences for the future, especially for my children and grandchildren. I’d like retire to France, but don’t know how Brexit will affect my pension rights over there. The EU has upheld human rights and rights for women. As for non EU-immigrants, people don’t realise that some are refugees who have no choice but to leave their homeland. I support Labour and think that right-wing influences are behind this result.”

Hannah (30s) Non voter:

“I’m from the Czech Republic so I couldn’t vote. I’m married to a British citizen so I can stay here, but I’m not sure what to expect now – the future is uncertain. Please excuse me, as I have to get to work.”

Anna (70) Leave:

“I’m ecstatic about this result. I feel that EU bureaucracy and regulation have stifled the creation of new business and prevented businesses from expanding. We’ll soon be free of them at last. We can become a successful country again, as in the 19th century. British imperial measurements are no longer taught in schools, where it’s metres and centimetres now. But we’ve got to use feet and inches when we’re trading with the North Americans and Australians. Instead of tying ourselves to the shrinking EU, we should be looking further afield.”

Stephen (50s) Remain:

“This shock result will result in a period of uncertainty. The Leave side have no concrete plans for the future. The campaign focussed far too much on immigration and leave voters didn’t see the bigger picture. This is a leap in the dark.”

Natasha
Natasha

Natasha (30s) Remain:

“I’m a bit scared about what the future holds in terms of job security, mortgage rates, the falling pound and price rises.”

Emma (30s) Remain:

“I’m devastated! This is the wrong decision for the UK. We would be much stronger in Europe but now we could become isolated. It’s arrogant to think Britain can do better without the EU. Brexit won’t solve the problems Leave voters blame the EU for – it will only make them worse.”

Dr Sock
Dr Sock

Dr Sock (30s) Leave:

“I’m pleased but apprehensive. We’ve thrown off the EU shackles and let the country out of the box. The EU have been bullying us, saying it’s either our way or the highway. I’m a market trader and most of the stuff on our market stall comes from China, Pakistan and India. As long as we can trade globally, I don’t see any impacts on that. I don’t want much to change, though. I hope we can keep the freedom of movement but have more powers to deport immigrants who break our laws. My wife’s Irish and she hopes that the border between the Irish republic and Northern Ireland will remain open as it is now.”

John (60s) Remain:

“This referendum is the accidental result of Tory party in-fighting and will produce changes which no one knows how to deal with. This outcome reflects the incompetence of our political class who allowed the referendum to be fought without any honest debate. I’m a Eurosceptic who voted to stay in because the consequences of Brexit are impossible to foresee. I now anticipate five years of economic turmoil.”

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