‘Nobody voted to be worse off’ – Wakefield locals brace for Brexit | Politics

As Jeremy Corbyn was giving his Brexit speech, Peter Clarke had popped into Duchniak’s, a Polish restaurant on the outskirts of Wakefield metropolis centre. He needed to know in the event that they offered Pączki, donuts eaten on the Polish reply to pancake day. They name it Fats Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek) and the 72-year-old was making an attempt to order a giant batch for a Rotary Membership do subsequent month.

“We’ve not too long ago had a brand new Polish member and I assumed it will be good to make her really feel welcome,” the retired policeman stated.

Discuss turned to Brexit. Clarke was one of many 66.4% of Wakefield residents who voted to go away – “and if there may be one other vote I might vote depart once more. I feel now we have been handled appallingly by the EU.”

He noticed no contradiction in having fun with a restaurant opened by a younger Polish girl making the most of the EU’s freedom of motion and labour, and Brexit. He appeared shocked that his vote may need made Poles really feel undesirable.

“Does it?” he requested Sabina Niemczyk, the 29-year-old waitress, who got here to the UK 4 years in the past. “It does a bit,” she stated quietly. “Particularly after I used to work in a store and will hear folks saying I ought to return to my nation.” She plans to go residence once more in 10 months.

Clarke went to reassure her. “I don’t have an issue with individuals who work. It’s the scroungers I don’t like. Those who come on the again of a lorry.” By no means thoughts that asylum seekers who arrive hidden in vans are a) not European and b) not entitled to say advantages. Clarke’s Brexit vote wasn’t actually about immigration, he stated – his niece is married to a German and not too long ago obtained her German passport “simply in case”. For him, it’s about sovereignty and the EU “little by little taking additional energy – it’s develop into a authorities in itself”.

He was unconvinced that Jeremy Corbyn may do a greater job than Theresa Could and negotiate a greater deal, together with a brand new customs union. “Nicely, how?” he requested. “Others have tried and failed.”

Corbyn’s name for a basic election might not repay in Wakefield, the place Labour’s Mary Creagh has a fragile 2,176 majority over the Tories. Joiner Geoffrey Walpole, 60, stated he didn’t know who he would vote for however definitely not Corbyn – “he’s by no means accomplished a day’s work in his life”. He voted for Ukip final time they stood, in 2015, coming third, however thinks “they’ve had the stuffing knocked out of them”.

Individuals are too scared to take a danger and deviate from the primary events, he believes: “In case you informed the British public to take fewer breaths on daily basis as a result of there was a scarcity of oxygen, most individuals would do it. Individuals are frightened.”

Geoffrey Walpole (left) said he wouldn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn.



Geoffrey Walpole (left) stated he wouldn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn. {Photograph}: Sean Smith for the Guardian

Within the carpark of OE Electrics, the place the digital camera vans stood to broadcast the Labour chief’s speech, three Wakefield remainers have been protesting.

Robert Gosling, 66, had made his personal flagpole out of his washing line to wave his EU flag. “A person’s simply gone previous within the automotive, he [said] ‘we’re leaving aren’t we?’, and I stated, ‘properly, nobody voted to be worse off’. He stated he would take £20 per week much less if there was no immigration. However in Wakefield with the nurses, there’s 200 vacancies on the belief. They will’t get folks from the EU,” he stated.

John Sheard, a retired IT employee, stated Brexit was the primary situation he had protested in opposition to since he was a scholar and went on an illustration in opposition to grant cuts. Each he and Gosling are Labour members and campaigned for his or her native get together to submit a movement to Labour convention in favour of a second referendum: a transfer ultimately backed by Creagh.

“I assumed it was a constructive factor, Corbyn being Eurosceptic,” Sheard stated. “I assumed we may stay within the EU and have a Eurosceptic chief who can be a robust voice for a reform in Europe. But it surely’s not been the way it labored out.”

Lynne Stainthorpe, a retired instructor, stated she had been campaigning because the Individuals’s Vote march in October. “Most Labour members are remainers, aren’t they, and most Labour MPs are remainers,” she stated. “I simply needed him to see that.”

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