Will the leavers listen?

Sussex Express (27 April) carried the result of its Brexit poll. Unsurprisingly, 89% of Remainers think we should stay in the EU, and 58% of participating readers said we are better off in Europe.

Is Wealden’s MP, Nus Ghani listening? She’s a Leaver.

Ominously for Theresa May, should the Express’s findings prove to be an indicator of

grassroots thinking nationwide, she and the Brexiters would be at odds with most voters.

Sixty-three per cent of those polled by this newspaper want to remain in the European single market.The prime minister wants to leave the single market. Additionally, 10 % of Leave voters would vote differently.

Essentially, East Sussex is a rural county, a place where farming matters. The county’s NFU chairman, Chris Jeffries, has accused the government of failing to understand that food production is a national strategic asset. He wants more support for farmers. Where will the money come from if Britain (and Sussex) leaves the world’s richest market?

According to last week’s report by the OECD, investment into the UK has fallen by $181 billion and outward investment rose by $120 billion. The economy in general is stagnating.

Leading academic, Will Hutton, has stated that investment in British manufacturing is stagnating. Last month car output for the domestic market dropped by 13% and for exporting by 12%. Giant Japanese car-making plants in the UK sell most of their British-made cars into the EU. It is a success story for both Japan and Britain. Recently, the Japanese ambassador, Koji Tsuruoka stated that Japanese car companies are waiting before deciding whether to move all or all of their manufacturing so that they can stay inside the single market. If relocation does occur, British workers in their thousands will be out of a job. As with the Japanese, so with the Americans and others. At the beginning of April, US drugs giant, Johnson & Johnson, makers of Listerine and Johnson’s Baby Oil, told the Migration Advisory Committee of the Home Office that restrictions on freedom of movement brought about by Brexit raised questions about its ability to remain operational in the UK. Other major companies expressed similar worries to the committee, among them were John Lewis

and the pharmaceutical firm, AstraZeneca. EDF said completing the new atomic energy plants at Hinckley Point was threatened, IBM reported that the UK’s position as a leader in cyber security and artificial intelligence was endangered and American engineering

contractor, Jacobs, said it could be forced to move its HQ out of Britain. Will the Leavers listen nationally? Will the readers of the Sussex Express? Or will the gloom


Alan Whittaker

Wealden Liberal Democrats