With weeks to go before people go to the polls to decide if the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union, some media show an almost equal split in opinion between those who favour a “Brexit” – and those who wish to stay in the EU.
Where better to test the public mood than at Ely’s popular Continental Market last weekend?
For years, the Continental Market has attracted stallholders from across Europe to our city, selling everything from paella and crepes to cheeses and preserves.
Spotted in Ely quizzed a number of people visiting the market at random on Sunday, asking: “should we remain in the EU?”
The EU referendum will take place across the country on Thursday June 23.
Alyson, from South Africa, now living in Ely: “It doesn’t bother me if they stay or leave.”
Veronica, from South Africa, now living in Ely: “I think there’s too many foreign people that come in and claim benefits for families that aren’t in the UK. My father’s who is 73-years-old and British wasn’t allowed to remain in Britain with my mum who is South African because he had to meet financial requirements. He is British. It’s disgusting. If you come from Hungary or Poland you can do whatever you like.”
Liz, Cambridge: “I think we should stay in because I think there’s a whole raft of workers’ rights that we’ve acquired through being a part of Europe. With the government we have you can’t trust that they will improve them. There’s other protections that we get from Europe as well as financial benefits.”
Neil, Cambridge: “There are a lot of people coming into this country, there’s also a lot of people coming out. We’ve got family members who work abroad and earn good money. It’s a two way process which people forget. This in out referendum is a two-way ballot for racists. This Continental Market is good – would it survive?”
Peppe, stallholder from Sicily: “I’m in. I hope that the British people will open their minds and stay in Europe. It’s much better for everyone, not just for commerce. There are some things we have to change. To stay in Europe is the best way to do business.”
Tony, Norfolk: “I’m out. I think it’s about time we took our own country back in every possible way.”
Harriet, Ely: “I have no idea because I haven’t heard anything that I believe is true. I would go with ‘in’ because I don’t see anything wrong with how things are now.”
Edward, Ely: “I think a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – so I’m in. It’s too unknown for me, rolling the dice. Why bother?”
Tom, Ely: “I’m in. The independent monetary organisations all say it’s the best thing to do.”
Helen, Ely: “We have an awful lot of people who’ve worked for many years here and have given a lot to the country. Why would you rock a boat that’s rowing really well? Too many people blame European laws when it’s actually our laws that are the problem. You go to European countries and they don’t have all the health and safety regulations that we do. It’s a lot of old rubbish. We should stay in.”