What could Brexit mean for Redbridge?
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It is an issue that divided the country last year, and now, with the finer details being debated in Parliament, Brexit is back in the headlines.
As a borough, Redbridge voted 54 per cent in favour of remaining in the European Union in June.
Last week, MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of triggering Article 50 and beginning Brexit negotiations.
During that vote, Ilford South MP Mike Gapes was one of only 114 MPs to vote against.
Ilford North’s Wes Streeting joined 497 other elected members in voting for the legislation.
Both MPs have explained to the Recorder their reasons for doing so at length below.
One of the key factors in the debate has been the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s economy and access to the single market.
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Geoff Hill, at the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, told the Recorder Redbridge has yet to fully feel the impact of Brexit.
“There hasn’t been that much of an effect so far, and people are making the best of it,” he said.
“But what I think we will see is, in a few months’ time – as the financial details become apparent – people living in Redbridge and commuting into the city might begin to feel it more as banking firms begin moving more jobs to the continent.”
But Cllr Paul Canal, leader of Redbridge’s Conservative group, said: “It has been interesting to see that, after the hyperbole and irrationality of some European ministers, a period of calm has descended.
“The German finance minister has stated the EU should not play hardball during Brexit negotiations, and that is because he knows we are Germany’s largest export market.
“Europe normally dances to Germany’s tune, with the French complaining in the background.”
In an extended column in the week’s Ilford Recorder, both of the town’s Labour MPs also gave their take on the government’s plans to leave the European Union.
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting quipped: “Many promises were made during the referendum campaign, and there are many ministers in the government who are now well placed to deliver on the promises they made.
“Just as Brexit means Brexit, so too does £350million a week to the NHS mean £350m a week to the NHS.”
And veteran Ilford South MP Mike Gapes told the Recorder: “As soon as we pass Article 50 we are on an escalator that leads to leaving the European Union within two years and I do not think adequate preparation has been made.
“As far as I know there is no way to get off that escalator.”
Both MPs’ full columns from the Recorder’s Brexit special will be on our website later today.