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Brexit and Canterbury's Economy

July 7, 2016 5:00 PM

European Parliament StairsMartin Vye, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Canterbury, is urgently seeking action by the county council to draw up plans to safeguard the Kent economy after the vote to leave the European Union.

He said; "Like almost half of people in Canterbury I am angered and disillusioned by the referendum. However, the decision has been made. Now we must try to limit the damage. So many sections of our economy stand to be badly hit by Brexit. Universities - major employers in our city - will lose a large proportion of their research budgets: 20% in the case of the University of Kent, and 25% in the case of Christ Church. In addition, there are large numbers of students from EU countries studying here - that flow will reduce if they have to pay 'rest-of-the-world' fees. And there are large numbers of small businesses in this county so close to the continent, which have built up profitable markets across the Channel, which will be endangered by Brexit."

Martin went on: "Another concern of mine is agriculture. Up till now farms have been kept alive by EU funding. Unless Government goes back to what it did before we entered the EU, namely to provide cash support for farms, then many will go out of business with the impact on the countryside that will have. And over the past few decades environmental protection of the countryside has improved immeasurably, thanks to EU regulations - will the Government ensure the same amount of protection?"

He concluded: "I shall be pressing the county council to take seriously the economic situation facing Kent and Canterbury, and to enter into robust negotiations with the government to get them to limit the damage."