Coastal towns in Suffolk lead the call for change as many favour EU exit
- Credit: PA
Euroscepticism remained prevalent in the region’s coastal resorts, our snapshot of voting intentions in the region has suggested.
Of the 1,090 people we spoke to last week, those in Clacton, which has the UK Independence Party’s only MPs, were the most inclined to vote to leave the European Union in the referendum on June 23.
The Suffolk port of Lowestoft was also strongly eurosceptic, along with the west Suffolk town of Bury St Edmunds which also had a large lead for the leave campaign. But Stowmarket had smallest number of people set to vote to leave.
Colchester MP Will Quince, who backs a vote to leave the European Union, said he was not surprised by the Essex results, which put remain well ahead of leave in Colchester, but also showed many people were still undecided.
He said: “That certainly fits with what people are telling me. I’m still having a lot of people coming to me undecided.”
He said he was sending them a copy of the a foreign affairs select committee report, which had been authored by MPs on both sides of the debate.
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He said: “I knew Colchester would be more mixed than most.”
Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said the number of undecided voters was striking and confirmed his own experience.
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He also said people were asking for impartial information and data.
“There are a lot of people who feel overwhelmed by the way the arguments are being interpreted and imagine there may be some holy grail of impartiality, but unfortunately there isn’t.
He said he was committed to participating in hustings at local schools and he was going to debate two Conservative colleagues – Essex MPs Bernard Jenkin and James Cleverly.
“I am going to attend one more if not two more publically organised hustings. A lot of people are undecided so our duty is to go out and encourage debate. We need to help them feel informed,” he added.
What people said
Betty Pullen, 76, is from St John’s Road, Clacton. She said: “If David Cameron had done what he said and got those things, such as control of our own immigration, I would have said stay, but I think we need a wake-up call. I voted to join, and to stay and trade, but not to be governed by the EU. We will probably stay in because a lot of youngsters think we are better in, but from experience we need to stride out and go it alone.”
Moyra Hart, 95, from Balkerne Gardens, Colchester, said she would definitely be voting for Britain to leave the EU.
“I want the freedom to control immigration and to be governed by the laws of the British Parliament, not have it imposed on us.
“There’s nothing that could persuade me to stay. I can’t bear the arrogance of the EU, their uselessness.
“I am old enough to have lived through the war when Britain stood on its own two feet, and it could do it again I am sure.”
Simon Scott, 67, is retired, from Chilton Way, Stowmarket, said: “I believe it would be beneficial not having to pay £350m a week to an organisation we never voted for in the first place. We joined to belong to the common market. The fact we’re now being dictated to doesn’t bode well for the future.
“Nothing our government has done, so far, has changed my mind. I see right through the campaign to stay – which is becoming increasingly political. I also resent the fact that taxpayers funded £9m of pro-EU pamphlets.”
Luke Malcolm, 24, from Clacton, said he not be voting.
He added: “Whatever they say is rubbish. It doesn’t matter if we leave or stay in they will still mess up the country.”
John Ballant, 77, from Ipswich, is retired and will vote to leave. He said: “I think it’s time for our country to stop being told what to do by the EU. Why they are still controlling some of our laws I don’t know, it’s ridiculous. Hopefully everyone will vote leave and we’ll be able to come out of the EU.”
Stephanie Noe, 36, from Eye in Suffolk will vote to remain.
“A lot of the government changes recently have directly affected myself and my family. I used to work for a renewable energy company.
“My dad is a courier and travels into Europe and pulling out of the EU would massively affect him. He would probably lose his job.”