Brexit day: What Portsmouth people think about the EU departure

Today the UK leaves the European Union. Here’s what people in Cosham make of the change.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 8:19 am

Whistlestop employee Tina Bradley, 57, owner Sue Weller, 56 and employee Sue Bury, 61 (pictured)

NEWS of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union is being strongly welcomed by staff at the Whistle Stop Cafe, in Cosham.

Owner Sue Weller, 56, vowed to gather her team to have a ‘little drink or two’ to celebrate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Whistle Stop Cafe employee Tina Bradley, 57, owner Sue Weller, 56, and employee Sue Bury, 61. Picture: Byron Melton

‘I think it’s a good idea we’re coming out – we can bring everything back to the British people,’ said Sue, 56.

‘We can make our own decisions for our country and that can give us an upward trajectory.’

Employee Tina Bradley, 57, added: ‘The good thing is being able to control our trade with other countries and being able to update our laws ourselves without having to speak to the EU about it.

‘This will be a way forward for Britain – for my children, and my grandchildren.’

Alfredo Freitas, owner of Cafe Prazeres in High Street, Cosham. Picture: Byron Melton

Tony Broom, 57, owner of Shoefix in High Street, Cosham for 26 years

SELF-CONFESSED Brexit ‘fan’ Tony Broom, who owns shoe repair shop Shoefix, is excited for the landmark occasion.

‘I’ve never seen why we should have another level of government in Brussels – one in our country is sufficient – and I don’t see why we would ever want to send loads of money abroad,’ said Tony, 57.

‘What we sell today people will want to buy tomorrow, and what we buy today, people will still want to sell. Everything will work itself out.

Tony Broom, owner of Shoefix in High Street, Cosham. Picture: Byron Melton

‘Lots of my products, particularly rubber soles, heels and insoles, come from Europe because we don’t make them in the UK any more and my hope – although it might be a dream – is we can get to manufacturing them again ourselves.’

Alfredo Freitas, owner of Cafe Prazeres in High Street, Cosham

HIS business may rely on tasty cuisines from his native Portugal, but Alfredo Freitas, owner of Cafe Prazeres, has no qualms over Brexit.

He said: ‘I think Brexit is great and if I could’ve voted, I would have voted to leave so we can get more control of the country.

Robert Corgett, 66. Picture: Byron Melton

‘I have no concerns about my products getting to me. Negotiations between Portugal and the UK are very strong, so we’re pretty confident they’re going to be fine.

‘I think we should celebrate this moment and be proud of ourselves. We need to be proud of the country.’

Michelle Stewart, Cosham, 49

FOR BRITAIN, leaving the EU is exciting, says shopper Michelle Stewart, but she admits the debacle of Brexit has left some wounds.

‘It’s a shame Brexit has divided so many people,' said Michelle, 49.

‘I voted to leave and I did even reconsider afterwards, but now I’m glad it's going to happen. I’m looking forward to a prosperous UK.

Ronald Snelling, 68 from Fratton. Picture: Byron Melton

‘We can make our own UK laws without having to go to the EU and we need to look at immigration.

‘And as long as celebrations are respectful, I don’t have a problem with them.’

Robert Corgett, 66, living in St Kitts' for the past decade, roots to Cosham

SHOPPER Robert Corgett knows well the toll the Brexit debate has had on people at odds.

His loved ones have been caught in the midst of EU-related quarrels, but he is adamant the change will be positive.

‘It’s a good thing for the country to have something to celebrate because there’s a big split in the UK, even between our family and our children, because some are Brexiteers and some are remainers,' said Robert, 66.

‘The EU started off as going into Europe as a compilation of friends, but it has become a powerhouse and people don’t realise how much extra we are actually paying because of it. Our government is being eroded.

‘The chances for prosperity are there, but it depends on what way the government plays it.

‘They need to be really strict on their negotiations because European negotiations are going to be strong.’

Ronald Snelling, 68, Fratton

BUSKER Ronald Snelling believes there are prosperous times ahead after Brexit.

But, the 68-year-old from Fratton said, the nation must not get ahead of itself.

‘We have to be careful of euphoria,' he said.

‘We need to hold our horses, take each day, don’t be too radical, don’t make promises we can't fulfil and be blessed by the extra jobs we can create.

‘Things do need to change, they shouldn’t remain the way they are now – but this is a mixed bag and it remains to be seen what Brexit truly means.’

Anonymous, 63, Portchester

MEANWHILE one remainer, who asked not to be named, is concerned for what the future holds.

‘We still have to trade with Europe, so I think it would’ve been better to negotiate from an insider’s position rather than on the outside,' the 63-year-old from Portchester said.

‘There has been a lot of negativity since the vote. The problem is that it’s much easier to be negative than to be positive, and politicians saying negative things have fed into people’s unhappiness about their own situation.

‘This isn’t something to celebrate – it’s an unknown quantity – and I think we should wait to see what the consequences are.’