Quitting EU could harm tourism numbers in Suffolk, chancellor claims on visit to Adnams brewery in Southwold

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, Chancellor George Osborne, and MP Therese Coffey toast to the

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, Chancellor George Osborne, and MP Therese Coffey toast to the Remain campaign after pulling pints at The Crown Restaurant in Southwold.

Tourist hotspots such as Southwold could see fewer visitors as a result of Britain leaving the European Union, chancellor George Osborne has warned.

However Simon Tobin, the Vote Leave co-ordinator for Waveney, said most of the visitors to Southwold are from within the UK - and that those who come from abroad would not be put off from visiting in the event of a leave vote.

On a visit to the Adnams brewery and The Crown Hotel in Southwold, Mr Osborne said: 'I think you'd see reduced tourist numbers from the EU.'

He said that while visitors from the EU can travel freely into Britain at the moment, they may have to complete a visa if they want to come in future.

'It's another reason not to make the journey,' he argued.

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But Mr Tobin, a former mayor of Southwold, asked: 'Does he think when we travel to America, that's a problem?'

He claimed Mr Osborne's comments were part of 'project fear' and said: 'Mostly it is people from all over Britain who are visiting Southwold in the height of the tourist season as daytrippers.

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'But that's not the point. Leaving the EU won't have any impact on that whatsoever. If anything, the money we save from the EU we will be able to invest in areas like Ness Point, in Lowestoft.'

However Mr Osborne said the Vote Leave campaign had left 'completely unanswered questions' about what would happen to the tourism industry in the event the UK leaves.

'If we remain, we will go on growing the economy. If we quit the EU, jobs will be at risk.'

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said she had been approached by many hoteliers in the area concerned at how leaving the EU might affect their trade.

Environment secretary and South Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss added: 'If we're going to have a visa, it's going to be harder to attract tourists to places like Southwold and the Brecks.'

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