No deal Brexit would mean fewer visitors to Cleethorpes resort, warns Labour

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 26 Sep 2018

A no deal Brexit would hurt the tourism industry at seaside resorts like Cleethorpes, a senior Labour figure has warned.

Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, has predicted that crashing out of the European Union without securing a trade deal would hit visitor numbers to Britain’s seaside beauty spots.

Her team said the rise in inflation, as predicted by the Bank of England in the event of a no deal exit, would mean tourists from abroad, as well as Britons looking for a “staycation”, would be put off spending their holiday money in the UK.

Speaking to GrimsbyLive at the Labour conference in Liverpool, Mrs Thornberry predicted people in the region would have to “tighten their belts” in the event of a no deal Brexit, meaning less cash to spend along Cleethorpes promenade.

“What it would do, because [no deal] would have a chilling effect on the economy, first of all I think people would have to be tightening their belts and they wouldn’t have the money to spend on having breaks and having holidays,” said the Islington South and Finsbury MP.

“The tourist industry is always sensitive to how people feel about what is going to happen and whether they will still have their job, or whether their partner will still have their job, and what will happen to the mortgage. Will the money [the repayments] be going up?

“Food prices going up will have a big effect on people’s feeling of fear. And this will be against the backdrop of people’s wages not going up with inflation for a very long period of time.

“So people will be feeling poorer because they are poorer – they’ve needed a pay rise and now they are facing Brexit and possibly a no deal.”

Labour shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry

Mrs Thornberry’s spokesman said the tourism situation would be the “reverse” of what happened after the Brexit vote, when the number of people staying in the UK to holiday increased due to the dip in the value of the pound.

“People will be put off doing staycations and put off coming here because it will represent a cheaper holiday to go abroad,” he said.

Cleethorpes was held by Labour when Tony Blair was prime minister but was won by the Tories in 2010. Mrs Thornberry said she expected Tory MPs to struggle in tourist areas hit by a possible no deal Brexit .

The shadow cabinet member said if Labour won power at a snap general election before March 2019, it would look to extend Article 50 to ensure there was more time to strike a trade deal with the EU.

But Labour has confirmed it will vote down a deal that looks like the prime minister’s Chequers proposals and is demanding Theresa May call an election if she cannot close the negotiations with an agreement.

Mrs Thornberry, a former barrister, said Labour would take none of the blame in the event of a no deal outcome, despite warning of its “very dark” consequences and threatening to vote down the PM’s deal.

“They [the Conservatives] still can’t agree two years on, they are having basic disagreements, they are in government and you say this mess is our fault. Really?,” she said.

“We campaigned to remain, we did everything to remain but we lost that referendum and we lost the general election – we are the opposition. They are the ones in power. This is their fault.”



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