Skegness

Lincolnshire Talks: Brexit one year on – are we any closer to leaving the EU?

June 23, 2016. A day that will be forever remembered as the time when the majority of voters in Lincolnshire and the rest of the UK turned their backs on the European Union and decided that they wanted to go it alone.

For those that wanted to stay in the EU, the result was a disaster, threatening economic prosperity and even the future of the ‘United’ Kingdom.

Leavers meanwhile, proposed that June 23 be declared a public holiday, and known as Independence Day, the day our proud country removed the shackles of control from bureaucrats on the continent.

Since the vote, we have had a change in prime minister who in turn has gone through a period of walking on water to now being ridiculed and lambasted at every opportunity after a disastrous and unnecessary general election called for the sole purpose of gaining a mandate for Brexit.

With Theresa May now looking irredeemably weakened by election, and formal Brexit negotiations beginning this week, Lincolnshire Reporter went to Skegness to hear from locals and tourists enjoying a holiday to hear their thoughts one year on from the historic day.

This is what they had to say:

Pat Hawkes, 69, said that she was fed up with the UK being dictated to from Brussels.

She said: “I wanted us to take control of our government again and I feel we’re being ruled by the EU too much.”

In terms of taking back control of our government, 21-year-old Josh Cockhram was less optimistic.

He said that he believes that Theresa May “doesn’t know what anyone actually wants” for Brexit and “she wants too much control and it’s not going to work.”

By contrast, “England has always managed before and we’ll manage even better when we’re out” was the view of Peter Flatt, 68.

Remain supporters on the whole were reluctant to be interviewed. One told Lincolnshire Reporter that she would not talk on camera as the issue has already seen many arguments with her husband.

Matt Warman. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Reporter

Conservative Matt Warman, who represents the constituency and himself voted Remain in the referendum, said that it was vital that the government “gets Brexit right”, which delivers on the result of last year’s referendum.

He said: “We need a deal that addresses widespread concerns about immigration and sovereignty, and I will certainly be doing all I can to push for a good outcome for Boston and Skegness.

“I am also pleased to see bills announced in the Queen’s Speech which are geared towards making a success of Brexit, including a new Trade Bill, a Fisheries Bill and an Agricultural Bill, which I know are important matters affecting my constituency.

“I will continue to raise the concerns of my constituents at the highest possible level as our Brexit negotiations progress.”