Thursday, 11 May 2017

Brexit: and the general election in Devon

On the one hand, UKIP did badly in last week's County elections:
UKIP lose all four seats on Devon County Council | Devon Live

On the other hand, Brexit is still very much an issue for the general election - in North Devon, for example:

‘Strong deal for Brexit’

In 2015, Mr Heaton-Jones overturned Mr Harvey’s 5,000 majority and won by 7,000 votes and the campaign this time is already heating up. Mr Heaton-Jones told the Gazette he was proud of his two years to date and said the best way to get a strong deal for the UK over Brexit was to vote Conservative.

He said: “I will spend the next six weeks looking forward, and asking North Devon to support Theresa May’s vision of strong leadership, secure government and the best possible Brexit.”

He accused the Liberal Democrats of ‘ignoring Brexit’ and added: “North Devon rejected the Lib Dems just two years ago, choosing instead to have an MP who has direct access to the decision-makers and can influence government for our area. Why would we go back to shouting from the sidelines?”

Election 2017: War of words heats up as Conservatives and Lib Dems contest North Devon seat - General Election 2015 | North Devon Gazette

Meanwhile, in East Devon:

Claire Wright, who last week regained her seat on Devon County Council with 3,638 votes and a 75 per cent share, has announced that she is to again stand for parliament in the General Election in a bid to become East Devon's first Independent MP.

Speaking to supporters gathered at Exmouth Football Club, Claire said: "Since the snap election was announced I have been inspired by hundreds of emails and calls urging me to stand and offering help.

"As a direct result of this government's policies local NHS provision is under threat, education budgets face massive shortfalls, local businesses will suffer hikes in business rates, local council services have diminished under massive government cuts - and national debt has actually increased.

"As well as this there are real fears of a damaging hard Brexit if the Conservative government is re-elected with a substantial majority, as is predicted."

Devon County Councillor in bid to become East Devon’s first Independent MP | Devon Live

Because there are concerns growing across the County.

Whether in the service industry:
Jobs lost as Devon beauty salon blames Brexit for closure | Devon Live

Or farming:

The Brexit revolution for British agriculture is expected to trigger an exceptional turnout of farmers at this year’s Devon County Show.

With Brexit likely to impact on farming and food production more dramatically than on any other British industry, the Westcountry’s agricultural community is expected to be keener than ever to discuss important issues at the first major UK agricultural show of the season, later this month.

Rural commentator and former NFU South West director Anthony Gibson is predicting “exceptionally high numbers” of farmers at the Westpoint, Exeter, showground from May 18 to 20 for the three day event.

Mr Gibson OBE, who is an adviser to the Devon County Show and a Director of the Royal Bath & West, said uncertain times triggered by Britain leaving the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy would attract the farming community.

He said: “I think we could see a record turnout of farmers in modern times – partly because of all of that, partly because everyone’s either up together or ahead of the game with their farm work, thanks to the wonderfully dry April, and partly because there’ll be more than ever for farmers to see, talk about and buy. There’ll be plenty of discussion at the Show, which is the first major Show since Article 50 was triggered,” he said.

Brexit jitters expected to bring farmers flocking to debates at Devon County Show | Plymouth Herald

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