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Cambridge votes to stay in EU but UK votes to leave

25 06 16 Cambridge views, Trinity St. Picture: Keith Heppell
25 06 16 Cambridge views, Trinity St. Picture: Keith Heppell

People in Cambridge voted for the UK to remain in the European Union, going against the national decision made to leave.

The turnout for the Cambridge vote was high, at 72.2 per cent, with almost three votes for Remain to every one for Leave. The public voted through Thursday, June 23, and the announcement was made in the early hours of Friday, June 24.

Nationally, the leave campaign came out on top with 51.9% of the vote. There were 17,410,742, votes counted to Leave against 16,141,241 to Remain; a turnout of 72 per cent.

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner told the Cambridge Independent: “We’re going to work with people in Cambridge to salvage something from it, making sure that we’re positively moving forward.”

Mr Zeichner campaigned to remain in the EU, as well as former Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who expressed his concerns on social media. He said: “There’s lots of things we need to do in this country. More affordable housing better transport, NHS. But years will be spent on Brexit.”

Richard Howitt, Labour MEP for the Eastern region, tweeted: “a very sad day - but we told the truth.”

Ex Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Nick Clarke, who stood as UKIP candidate for Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, tweeted: “Cambridge has a great future. Our gov will be able to support our research not EU.”

Before the vote it was the voices of representatives from the education and business sectors in Cambridge that spoke loudest to remain in the EU.

Reacting to the results of the EU referendum, John Bridge OBE DL, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “In the lead up to the referendum businesses told us very clearly that the uncertainty over the future was directly impacting upon their investment plans which were being intentionally stalled until today’s result.

We're going to work with people in Cambridge to salvage something from it, making sure that we're positively moving forward.
Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner

“The long road of uncertainty ahead is a strong risk to the UK economy and businesses will eagerly await clear guidance from the government over the timetable going forward and a clear strategy to ensure any damage to economic growth caused by delayed investment is not prolonged.

“But let’s put this in perspective. The EU referendum result, in isolation, has no legal impact. All UK law, including that originating from the EU, remains in place and has the same influence over our lives and businesses as it did yesterday.

“And with David Cameron indicating that he will remain in post until the autumn, there are no immediate plans for article 50 to be invoked and negotiations commenced – a lengthy and complicated process in itself and is unlikely to be completed before 2018 at the earliest.

“A detailed plan is needed to secure confidence, ongoing investment and job creation to ensure economic growth is not stifled during the transition period.

16 06 16 Kings College, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell
16 06 16 Kings College, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

“Clearly many questions will remain unanswered for some time and action will be needed to maintain economic stability, a timeline for exit and establish the parameters for doing business during and after this historic transition.

“If ever there were a time to ditch the straight-jacket of fiscal rules for investment in a better business infrastructure, this is it.

“In the meantime, those same businesses will need to continue to do what they do best – driving growth in their own business, contributing to success in their local and national economies and maintaining the wealth creation that will keep our economy going.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, released a statement: “We note this result with disappointment. My position on this issue is well known, but 52% of voters in the Referendum disagreed.

“We will work with our partners in business, research and academia, as well as our European partners and the Government, to understand the implications of this outcome.”

He also wrote to all university staff in a message that was shared online.

In a blog post, Professor of Security Engineering, Ross Anderson, of Cambridge University, had said previous to the referendum result: “If the UK leaves the European Union, it will cost Cambridge University about £100m, or about 10% of our turnover.

“I reckon we will lose at least £60m of the £69m we get in European grants, at least £20m of our £237m fee income (most of which is from foreign students), at least £10m from Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press, and £5m each from industry and charities.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared June 23 as the nation’s Independence Day.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation with the intention of stepping down in September.

His announcement came despite a letter signed by 84 MPs, including leading Brexit campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, was delivered to Downing Street calling for the Prime Minister to remain in his role regardless of the referendum outcome.

In a statement he said: “I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but I do believe it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.

“There is no need for a precise timetable today, but in my view we should aim to have a new Prime Minister in place by the start of the Conservative party conference in October.

“Delivering stability will be important and I will continue in post as Prime Minister with my Cabinet for the next 3 months. The Cabinet will meet on Monday.

“I will attend the European Council next week to explain the decision the British people have taken and my own decision.

“The British people have made a choice. That not only needs to be respected – but those on the losing side of the argument, myself included, should help to make it work.”

The final result for the Eastern region was announced just before 6am, showing 1,880,367 voters in the region opted to leave the EU, while 1,448,616 voted to remain.

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