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‘Brexit could devastate region’ - campaigner sets out consequences of leaving for county’s north

PUBLISHED: 14:03 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 19 March 2018

Anti-Brexit campaigner Martyn Sloman has produced a report about its consequences for north Norfolk. Here, Brexit supporter Boris Johnson being interviewed on Cromer pier in 2016. Picture: DAVE 'HUBBA' ROBERTS

Anti-Brexit campaigner Martyn Sloman has produced a report about its consequences for north Norfolk. Here, Brexit supporter Boris Johnson being interviewed on Cromer pier in 2016. Picture: DAVE 'HUBBA' ROBERTS

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An anti-Brexit campaigner has warned that few parliamentary constituencies in Britain are more vulnerable to a hard Brexit than north Norfolk.

Anti-Brexit campaigners during the EU referendum campaign on Cromer's EU 'blug flag' beach.  Photograph: Submitted.Anti-Brexit campaigners during the EU referendum campaign on Cromer's EU 'blug flag' beach. Photograph: Submitted.

The majority of voters in the district voted to leave the European Union.

But economist and blogger Martyn Sloman, from Sharrington, has concluded that it will have a “stark” effect in the area.

His new paper ‘The Impact of Brexit on North Norfolk’, which draws on primary source data and is comprehensively referenced, looks at how it will effect the economy.

He said: “It is arguably the area with the most to lose and the least to gain. An urgent consideration of the consequences is required from all local decision making bodies.”

He continues: “North Norfolk can be described as an area of low unemployment, with below average wages and productivity, and a higher than average number of smaller, or micro businesses.

“The area does not figure significantly in the growth areas for the future identified in the various strategy planning documents prepared by the local councils.

“It is evident that the central, largely rural areas of Norfolk contain few of the characteristics of a modern, knowledge driven and service-led economy. 21st century industries built around IT and telecoms play a very limited role. Brexit therefore delivers a sharp focus on an important underlying question. How, in north Norfolk can we develop the high value organisations offering premium products that can compete internationally?

“North Norfolk will face big problems of adjustment and it is incumbent on us to anticipate and minimise any damaging effects.

“The conclusion for north Norfolk could not be clearer. If Brexit, whether hard or soft, goes ahead there will be a desperate need for short-term intervention to ameliorate the problems and for long-term investment to create the opportunities. The latter will be resource intensive and, even then, it is hard to see how this could be accomplished.”

Voters in north Norfolk voted 58.9pc to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016. For the UK as a whole the figures were 51.9pc leave and 48.1pc remain.

• Read Mr Sloman’s full paper at www.martynsloman.co.uk.

• Martyn tweets as @eugrandparents


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