Survey results: 50-50 split on Brexit's impact on Weston-super-Mare's future
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 October 2016
People who voted for Britain to remain in the European Union (EU) believe Weston and North Somerset will be worse off as a result of the decision - but people in the leave camp say the opposite.
A Mercury survey asked readers how they felt about the referendum result four months on and it revealed stark differences in how the two sides feel about the future.
The survey was released after Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that Britain will begin the process to leave the union by March 2017.
People who voted to ‘remain’ in the EU almost unanimously said Weston would be worse off economically, and felt the decision would have a negative impact on their lives.
Those who voted to leave the EU said it would affect their lives in a positive way, and thought businesses would be better off.
Voters from both sides of the argument said people living in the UK would be more likely to visit Weston on holiday.
This echoes the views of North Somerset’s tourism experts who believe fewer people will travel overseas as the pound is weaker and holidays abroad are more expensive.
One person who voted to remain in the EU said: “Weston and North Somerset could see a growth in domestic visitors, but I think it is unlikely it will see a growth in international visitors.”
One ‘leave’ voter said: “Leaving is the correct and right thing to do, it will not affect tourism or people’s right to work here from Europe if they have a job they will not be stopped from coming.”
Some people said leaving the EU could have an impact on Weston’s workforce.
They said businesses may struggle to find low-skill workers from the UK to fill vacancies if European workers leave the country.
One person added: “Trade deals will be struck with the EU ahead of the UK and the Government will find a way out of propping up projects in North Somerset which had been supported by EU grant money.”
A ‘remain’ voter said: “I think leaving the EU will put increased pressure on public services.
“Weston’s NHS, for example, relies heavily on EU workers, and Brexit may either encourage them to return to their home countries or limit other people’s options in terms of coming to the UK to work.
“I believe leaving the EU will make it harder for smaller businesses to trade with other EU countries. My family’s business, as an example, gets better deals when buying stock from companies in Belgium, France and Germany due to our EU status – this may no longer be the case post-Brexit.”
Most people who voted to remain said leaving the EU would have no impact on the housing crisis in North Somerset – the majority of people who voted to leave said the opposite.