European exit leads to split opinion in town

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Whitby woke up last Friday to the news that the country was set to forfeit its membership of the EU – prompting a mixed reaction across the town.

The exit following the historic referendum will mean different things for different walks of the community, from local and global businesses to the fishing industry and potentially tourism, as well as the effect on people taking holidays abroad.

Chris Fraser, director of Sirius Minerals behind the York Potash mine project earmarked for Sneaton, said the exit was beneficial to them in terms of doing deals in the global market.

He said: “Volatility of the current markets does not change anything about our business.

“We do not have any long term contracts within the EU.”

He added that it would be easier to negotiate trade deals with developing countries as at the moment they have to be led by the EU and “simply don’t happen”.

He added: “Once we are outside the EU, we can go back out and reinvestigate the Commonwealth ties which is where a lot of our product ends up going.”

However, the negative 
effects will be felt closer 
to home, says Labour councillor Gerald Dennett who 
represents the Mayfield 
ward.

Cllr Dennett warned of job losses and a potential lack of money for reinvestment into industry and local groups and organisations.

He told the Gazette: “There is a grave danger of another recession, and I fear that jobs in Whitby will be vulnerable. Unfortunately, if you lose your job, Scarborough JobMatch and Scarborough EnterpriseMatch will probably no longer be able to help you, as they depend on European money to survive and have so far already benefitted to the tune of 
£1.5 million.

“We are fortunate enough to live in an area of outstandingly beautiful countryside, managed by our farmers who benefit from £4 billion a year of EU payments.

“Can we be sure that this will continue?

“Is abandoning the largest market in the world the way to protect our future?”

In the Scarborough borough, 62% voted leave and 38% wanted to remain. The turnout was 73.03%.