Brexit set to dominate at the polls in Havant as MPs accused of 'dithering' after referendum

A MAJORITY of voters in Havant look set to sideline local issues as they take to the polls next week – instead opting to cast votes they hope will end the Brexit deadlock.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 6:00 am

Some of the town's voters have told The News of their frustrations at the undelivered promise of Britain's withdrawal from the European Union since the referendum in 2016.

In that vote 44,047 people in Havant opted to leave – commanding a majority of 17,465 – while their MP at the time, Alan Mak, voted to remain. Mr Mak, who also won the seat in 2017, has since vowed to help deliver Brexit.

But it is returning candidate Mr Mak whom clusters of voters have vowed to back on December 12, in the hope a Conservative government with a majority can finally get Brexit done.

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Gerry Gait, of Bedhampton, has vowed to vote for the Conservatives on December 12, 2019 because he believes it's the only way to get Brexit done. Picture: Byron Melton

Gerry Gait, from Bedhampton, said Britain will be an 'unhappy place' until the will of the people is acted on definitively.

'17.5m people voted to leave the EU yet one party wants another referendum and another wants to cancel Brexit – they are dithering,' the 75-year-old said.

'I'm going to be voting for the Conservatives because I have no doubt they are the only party that will get it done.

'All that's being talked about is Brexit and hopefully [leaving the EU] will get us back to what we should be doing.

'Things like transport and the NHS are being pushed aside and we need to get back to basics.'

Tracey Peacock, from Hayling Island, was among the 26,582 people in the Havant constituency who voted to remain.

But three years of to-and-fro in Parliament, she says, have 'changed her mind' and given her a new pro-Brexit outlook.

Ms Peacock, 57, said: 'This election is about the referendum.

'People have become panicky about [Brexit] – it's like the turn of the millennium when everyone thought the computers would blow up.

'But the fact is, this country has voted to leave and we need to bite the bullet whether some people like it or not.

'I'm definitely going to vote Conservative.'

One woman from Havant, who asked to remain anonymous and refused to disclose her vote – but said it would not be for Labour – said Brexit had forced other issues out of the spotlight.

She wants government to hike the National Minimum Wage, which is currently £8.21 an hour.

The 48-year-old said: 'The food banks around here are fantastic but they shouldn't have to be.

'I can't work because of disability, but there are people out there busting their necks full-time who are in poverty and can't provide for their kids.

'The cost of living is going up while the living wage remains the same. We need to marry the two together to help those people.'

Other town voters called for a halt to house building on Hayling Island amid fears for current infrastructure, and increased spending on the NHS.

Father-of-one Shaun Lashley's vote is in the air, but his top two demands of the next government are clear.

The 32-year-old from Havant said: 'We need to be harsher on the worst criminals in our country. It makes me worry for my kid’s future.'

On the Universal Credit benefit system, he added: 'For the people who are not in the most severe positions, it seems to be working.

'But at the worse end I've heard of people taking their lives after going on to it because of the stress it causes. It needs to be made better.’

Going against the status quo, young voter Patrick Baldwin said ‘anyone but the Tories' would get his backing at the polls.

His top priorities are the securing the future of the NHS and getting faster broadband on Hayling Island.

It comes after Labour promised free full-fibre internet for every UK home and business in its election manifesto.

The 22-year-old said: 'We need better internet on the island. They’re building more than 1,000 new homes, but there’s a lack of infrastructure to support them.'