Why I created a paper on the impact of Brexit on my local area

PUBLISHED: 14:51 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 21 March 2018

Boris Johnson MP and Penny Mordaunt visited Cromer in north Norfolk on behalf of Vote Leave during the EU campaign. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson MP and Penny Mordaunt visited Cromer in north Norfolk on behalf of Vote Leave during the EU campaign. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

An anti-Brexit campaigner felt so strongly about the lack of in-depth information provided by the Government in their Brexit impact papers that he has developed his own - focusing on his constituency of north Norfolk.

Martyn Sloman from north Norfolk has produced a paper on the impact of Brexit on his constituency (Photograph: Martyn Sloman)Martyn Sloman from north Norfolk has produced a paper on the impact of Brexit on his constituency (Photograph: Martyn Sloman)

Martyn Sloman, who lives in the village of Sharrington in north Norfolk, was incensed to write his paper on the impact of Brexit on his constituency after listening to the former Europe Minister Denis MacShane on The New European podcast.

He explains: “Like many others who hold progressive internationalist views I am horrified at what has happened as a consequence of the 2016 referendum, and I feel we must all do our bit to reverse this collision course.

“I heard former Europe Minister Denis MacShane argue on The New European podcast that the best way to combat Brexit was to assemble and publish information at constituency level. He was right - opinion in rural Norfolk is unlikely to be influenced by marches in London.”

His paper is comprehensively referenced and draws on primary source data about the economy in north Norfolk - a constituency which voted 58.9% to Leave in the EU referendum.

Mr Sloman believes that the area – that includes the seaside towns of Sheringham and Cromer – is one “with the most to lose and the least to gain” from Brexit.

“It is evident that the central, largely rural areas of Norfolk contain few of the characteristics of a modern, knowledge driven and service-led economy. 21st century industries built around IT and telecoms play a very limited role. Brexit therefore delivers a sharp focus on an important underlying question. How, in north Norfolk can we develop the high value organisations offering premium products that can compete internationally?”

Martyn has sent his paper to his local MP, and councillors at a district and county council level, as well as the local media. He is now hoping through the publicity others will follow suit and carry out their own Brexit assessments of their local area.

He told The New European: “Activism is I am sure age-related. If you feel strongly about something you should be prepared to act, but the form that action takes depends on your stage of life and your circumstances.

“50 years ago I would have been out knocking on doors - now I am trying to fight fire with facts and have produced and distributed a detailed paper. Anyone is welcome to use my paper as a template – I would strongly encourage you to create a report for your local area”.

He added: “We are undoubtedly winning every argument but the problem is to creating a political climate for change.”

Martyn Sloman tweets as @EUgrandparents on Twitter.

Read the full paper - ‘The Impact of Brexit on North Norfolk’ - online here.

MORE: Martyn Sloman: Frustrations of an activist

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