‘Leaving the EU will give us a massive opportunity’ - Waveney Vote Leave campaigners react to referendum victory
- Credit: Archant
Leaving the European Union is a cause many of them have campaigned for over a decade.
And now, after years of calling for 'Brexit', Waveney Vote Leave activists appear to have finally achieved their burning ambition.
Waveney was always expected to vote to leave the EU, with three polls conducted by the EDP and Journal showing the 'out' campaign strongly ahead throughout the referendum.
The 63 per cent to 37 per cent victory over the 'remain' camp in the district was largely predicted - but there was always uncertainty about whether the rest of the country would follow suit.
Simon Tobin, the UK Independence Party's (UKIP) parliamentary candidate for Waveney in 2015 and the Vote Leave co-ordinator in Waveney, said he had been opposed to Britain's EU membership for 20 years.
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'I feel fantastic personally,' he said.
'But it's not about me or people my age. It's for the future of our country, our children and that they will inherit a place that will be fit for purpose.
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'It's a knock on the nose to the establishment.
'I feel politics after this referendum will never be the same.'
Of the Waveney result, he said: 'This is a result of massive hard work on the ground by our campaign teams.
'In Waveney, leaving the EU will give us a massive opportunity in making Ness Point in Lowestoft a tourist attraction, for example, and to pay for the new bridge we've been promised.'
George Hawes, chairman of UKIP's Waveney branch, said: 'I want to thank all of my team for their tremendous dedication and teamwork.
'I'd also like to thank the people of Lowestoft and Waveney for getting behind us and trying to make something of our country.
'If we come out of Europe, it can only be good for our country and bring back the old fighting spirit we had before.
'It has proved that people are fed up with the lies and deceit they have had for the last six or seven years and that they were fed up with 'project fear'.'
He admitted that: 'There are going to be a lot of difficulties, we realise that' - but said UKIP could gain council and parliamentary seats in future as a result of the EU referendum result.
Phillip Trindle, a UKIP activist in Waveney, said he believed many people voted Conservative in last year's general election because the party promised a referendum on the EU. He now believes those people could vote UKIP in future.
Of the EU, he said: 'I voted to join originally - but I didn't vote for this. I voted for free trade and travel.'
Asked about the risks of leaving the EU which the remain side had warned about during the campaign, Mr Trindle said: 'What will determine the future of this country is how hard people in this country work.'
Fellow UKIP activist Mike Shaw, of Oulton Road, Lowestoft, said many people who voted remain would be less opposed to Brexit if the economic predictions that Britain will suffer do not come true.
However, he said the blame for any downfall in the economy could not be put solely on Brexit.
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