Opinion - what will EU vote mean for Lowestoft’s third crossing?
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013
MUCH has been written about what a historic change of direction the EU referendum is for the country.
The question now is what impact it will have on Waveney.
Companies like Southwold-based Adnams and Lowestoft-based Kingsley Healthcare had all warned of the effects on recruitment and exports – should we leave. Sealite UK in Lowestoft had put its expansion plans on hold all together.
In a visit to Southwold the day before the vote, chancellor George Osborne warned that while the fishing industry believes the EU has caused many of their problems, coming out will mean 'fewer fishermen'. He also warned our top tourist attractions could be hit by a reduced number of visitors from the EU – a point disputed by Simon Tobin, Waveney's Vote Leave co-ordinator.
It will be interesting to see whether or not these concerns are founded. What is perhaps of more immediate concern to Lowestoft is the long-awaited third crossing, now that the prime minister who promised it has now resigned.
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Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Chamber of Commerce chairman James Reeder believe the pledge is safe, as the £70million has already been committed by the government.
But the fact remains this was very much a personal pledge made by David Cameron, who visited the town and The Journal's office specifically to make the promise.
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He was the person who could be held accountable for his promise. The money may still be committed, but will there be so much of an emphasis in Whitehall on getting the project started without the personal backing of a prime minister?
Will the new prime minister be as supportive, or will he or she have other priorities in what are predicted to be economically challenging times? Again, we will wait and see. However the new prime minister, whoever it is, would be wise to stick to Mr Cameron's pledge – or it could cause not only electoral disaster for the Conservatives in Waveney.