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Market shoppers voice hopes and fears after referendum vote

Published 25/06/2016

Shoppers in Oxted expressed concerns about the impact of the Brexit vote
Shoppers in Oxted expressed concerns about the impact of the Brexit vote

Shoppers at a weekend French market spoke of their hopes and fears now Britain has taken the plunge and decided to exit the EU.

Some voiced concern that Brexit will be a dangerous retrograde step that could trigger recession, Scotland's split from the UK and years of political and economic uncertainty.

Others shopping for baguettes, croissants and French cheeses in Oxted, Surrey, felt the vote could finally enable Britain to unravel the swathes of EU red tape stifling businesses, and limit immigration.

Retired software engineer Susan Pharo, 65, said: "I voted Remain because I like the idea of the EU and people from the EU coming here. There are also a lot of economic benefits.

"Now we face a lot of unforeseen circumstances. I'm worried about Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving, and England being a forgotten, isolated country.

"I hope we will be alright and that there will be some positives. Now we have got to get on and be positive. I fear the EU will punish us to stop other countries leaving."

Irishman John Brown, 60, who lives in Sevenoaks, Kent, said: "I voted Leave because I feel the EU has been taking over. My decision had nothing to do with immigration.

"There has just been too much that the EU has been running, rather than letting individual governments get on with running their own countries.

"Everything is going to be OK. It may take a year or two. Everyone worries about taking first steps into anything. But we are not going to die."

Elizabeth Stewart, 60, from Oxted, said: "I voted Remain because I have lived in Europe most of my life, and I didn't like the immigration rhetoric.

"Short-term I think it's going to be chaos, not least because we need to sort out a leader for both major parties. But there will be pragmatism. We will still be trading and we will still be friends.

"I felt very strongly about this whole issue because of my children and grandchildren, and I think we were wrong to pull out.

"But I did feel the Leave campaign was so much more efficient. I was a Remain campaigner and all we got from people was abuse."

Another local, who declined to be named, said the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister was "horrifying".

She said: "I'm of a generation that is not worried but I'm concerned for the young people. I've already met one young person who has been told his contract isn't going to be renewed.

"And it's worrying when you've got children to support and you haven't got a livelihood. I will wait and see how it all falls out, but I feel very disappointed."

Another shopper, who did not want to be named, said a long period of uncertainty politically and economically would ensue in Britain.

She said: "I don't think it's going to be an immediate disaster but it brings a lot of uncertainty. There's going to be a lot of changes - in government and to our financial sectors, but it's difficult to know what the overall repercussions will be."

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