Why more than 100 Kent business owners are demanding a second Brexit referendum – Kent Live

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The Brexit deadline is drawing closer yet we’re no further forward with a deal.

We’re all feeling a little sick of the debate, but there are many reasons why we still need to pay attention.

For starters, Dover District Council has not spent a penny on Brexit preparation and people in Canterbury are worried the city will become less interesting.

The fractured debate has caused divisions but everyone in Kent agrees on one thing – it’s been handled appallingly.

And now more than 100 business owners in Kent calling for a second referendum on Brexit. 

Together, the group of small and sole traders have written to their MPs to demand a public vote on leaving Europe.

Their fears include concerns for the economy, the strength of the pound, access to the European market and problems at the Port.

With some reluctance, former Leave voters have changed their minds and said we need another vote with real facts this time.

While other signatories say Brexit has never been best for the country and we need to back out now “before it’s too late”.

Here’s why these five business owners are calling for a People’s Vote.

‘Who’s going to look after everyone?’

Following a career as a Youth Services Manager, Tunbridge Wells-based Keith Rowell has spent the last three years dividing his time between work as a gardener and a support worker for someone who has cerebral palsy.

He said: “My Brexit concerns are connected to care-workers and people who need care.

“Our welfare system can be nasty and I worry that without the protections that we’ve enjoyed since 2000 under the European Convention on Human Rights, it’s the most vulnerable who will pay.

“I’ve heard of many cases, when applications for care and welfare are rejected, that they are then won on appeal, where the ECHR is referenced.

“As for care-workers, most of us don’t make anywhere near the current the £30,000 immigration annual pay threshold; rather we’re on minimum wage with part time work.

“If existing care-workers from Europe can no longer work here and new ones can’t enter to live and work because they don’t earn enough, how will those roles be filled?

“Lack of care-workers will impact people like Philip who I work for. His cerebral palsy means he has mobility and memory issues and he needs support.

“I want a People’s Vote because all the current evidence points that Brexit will be disastrous.

“It’s got to be what’s best for our country and Brexit isn’t best. We will all pay for it, and the most vulnerable will suffer.”

‘My concern is for my children’

Frank White runs Treescapes, a Tree Surgery business in Kent.

Recently he wrote to his MP Greg Clark demanding a People’s Vote as many of the claims made during the Leave campaign turned out to be untrue.

He said: “I’m very lucky in that I live in an affluent part of the country so as of yet, Brexit has not directly had an impact. However, I have children that are just starting out in their careers and my biggest concerns surround their futures.

 “I voted leave but was always on the fence. It really wasn’t until the last week that I made my decision. For me, it came down to the money promised for the NHS. Unfortunately that turned out to be false.

 “As a business owner I have naturally voted Conservative but I do not recognise the current Government as the Conservative Party I used to vote for.”

‘We’ve been reckless and negligent’

John Orchard owns a property business near Dover that provides homes to let and holiday homes.

He said: “We are based in near Dover and rely heavily on this part of the UK being accessible and attractive to our European neighbours.

“Throughout my life, the British political process has been conducted in a measured, responsible way.

“I feel that from the beginning, the handling of the referendum on membership of the EU was reckless and negligent.

“It is only now that people are beginning to understand what leaving the EU will mean for our country.

“As a result I believe that a People’s Vote based on fact is the only way forward.”

‘We were misled’

Brian Urwin is director of Ramsgate Business Community Association CIC, MD of My Healthy Choice/Think Healthy Me and chairperson of Health and Business in Thanet.

The steering group are addressing the long-term wellbeing deprivation of people in Thanet and aim to improve local economy, lifestyle and quality of life for the population and future generation.

He said: “I’m concerned about Brexit because there is growing evidence of its negative impact on UK economy.

“Why are major organisations and successful business entrepreneurs in small and medium businesses abandoning the UK and relocating to other countries?

“Here in Kent I know lots of hard-working, fantastic people in hospitality and catering who are not UK nationals.

“Many are telling me that they are fearful for their and their family’s future. Great Britain and its people require clarity and strong leadership from our elected representatives.

“I support a People’s Vote because I voted to ‘remain’.  I feel that the population was misled by the media. That’s why we are in a ‘no decision’ state so close to the cut- off date of March 29, 2019.”

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‘It’s the last chance to cancel this whole mess – there’s no other way’

Steve Wisbey runs NIC Instruments Ltd, a third-generation family-run business that designs and manufactures bomb disposal equipment for military and government end-users around the world.

The company was started 1946, has a team of 20 people, and is based in Folkestone.

He said: “The fluctuating exchange rate already has had a major impact. Tariff risk and the reluctance of EU countries to want to deal with UK as we are now seen as being harder to trade with.

“It will be harder to move products around. Right now I can jump in a car, and deliver and demo products.

“The amount of money the government is spending to implement Brexit will reduce government funding for other projects such as grants.

“Brexit will also bring difficulties in employing people; there are not enough skilled people in UK to fill all jobs therefore we need easy access to EU’s skilled workforce.

“In some ways I’d rather not have a second referendum because the first one is what got us in this mess to start with.

“The major immediate Brexit issues are not felt by many people so despite the consistent message by experts, a lot of people will just ignore that.

“However I support the People’s Vote as I see it as the last chance to cancel this whole mess. There’s no other way.”

Who are the business owners demanding another referendum?

Anthony CowellASHFORD
Chris PoundASHFORD
Dr Robert N. CockcroftASHFORD
Liz Finn-KelceyASHFORD
Martin Rose-KingASHFORD
Michael SmithASHFORD
Niko MiaoulisASHFORD
Paul bakshASHFORD
Paul CallaghanASHFORD
Rob ButlerASHFORD
Steven MatthewsASHFORD
Charles SimpsonCANTERBURY
Chris CarterCANTERBURY
Chris CoatesCANTERBURY
Hannah NichollsCANTERBURY
Janet DayCANTERBURY
Margaret sherifaliCANTERBURY
Nadia BeckettCANTERBURY
Ruth SimpsonCANTERBURY
Siobhan MannCANTERBURY
Suzanne HattonCANTERBURY
Richard PriceCHATHAM AND AYLESFORD
Chris BartramDARTFORD
Richard HuntleyDARTFORD
Alec CeschiDOVER
Anthony SansomDOVER
Ayo MartinsDOVER
Benjamin WestwaterDOVER
Christopher AllenDOVER
Daniel BurrowsDOVER
David BucknellDOVER
John OrchardDOVER
Jonathan FensomDOVER
Jonathan StewardsonDOVER
Pascal LangDOVER
Leila ApplebyDOVER
Michael YatesDOVER
steven maiselDOVER
Alan WheelerFAVERSHAM AND MID KENT
Andrew StonemanFAVERSHAM AND MID KENT
David FinchFAVERSHAM AND MID KENT
Mark Gresle FarthingFAVERSHAM AND MID KENT
Mr Glenn Robert MayFAVERSHAM AND MID KENT
Nigel BoltonFAVERSHAM AND MID KENT
Alfred AdcockFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Andrew JohnsonFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
BartleFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Christopher ChallinorFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Clive SmallFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Daniel LightFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
David McKivettFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Edward JelonekFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Geoff MarchFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Nathan BirchenoughFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
Phil KeetFOLKESTONE AND HYTHE
A ghomiGRAVESHAM
Dieter KollnbergerGRAVESHAM
Ferenc KulcsarGRAVESHAM
MarcinGRAVESHAM
Andrew GreenMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Katie Smith-PalomequeMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Mike OConnellMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Paul GuiverMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Pedro CurveloMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
reuben wilkinsonMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Rob MossMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Stacey MillerMAIDSTONE AND THE WEALD
Gary PotterNORTH THANET
Jeremy MarshallNORTH THANET
Lance D G CranerNORTH THANET
Mark sandersNORTH THANET
Matthew ConnellNORTH THANET
Mrs Rachael ReltonNORTH THANET
Chris Hanson-AbbottSEVENOAKS
Donald AndersonSEVENOAKS
Heather StylesSEVENOAKS
Jodie Dinham-MilnerSEVENOAKS
Lee WoodwardSEVENOAKS
MARIO PANAYIOTOUSEVENOAKS
Matthew BatesSEVENOAKS
Stuart CoffinSEVENOAKS
Tom McGuaneSEVENOAKS
Veronica LamontSITTINGBOURNE AND SHEPPEY
Antonia CourcierSOUTH THANET
Brian UrwinSOUTH THANET
Gill MurphySOUTH THANET
Ian WhitehouseSOUTH THANET
J BARRYSOUTH THANET
Mark ForrestSOUTH THANET
Peter RossSOUTH THANET
Roger SinclairSOUTH THANET
Vaughan GryllsSOUTH THANET
Amanda CarpenterTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Chris NashTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Dr Janine AyresTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Duncan BestTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Gareth WilkinsTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Jeremy GoodwinTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Michael LeweyTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Nigel von TunzelmanTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Peter FloryTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Rachel SimpsonTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Sam petterTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Sarah CondryTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Tony NunnTONBRIDGE AND MALLING
Amy Le RouxTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Christian GarlandTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Frank whiteTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Ian GilesTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Keith RowellTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Marieke de JongeTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Stephen TeeTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Tom VoorsluijsTUNBRIDGE WELLS
Zain WadeeTUNBRIDGE WELLS

This content was originally published here.