Exclusive Interview: Suzanne Evans & Anthony Hilton – Reactions to 2016 Brexit Vote
As the Brexit bandwagon rolls on, we spoke to two key figures – one from the world of politics, the other finance – to get their views on Brexit’s referendum results. In June 2016, 52% of the British public voted in favour of leaving the EU, with the remaining 48% wishing to maintain membership.
A steadfast supporter of UKIP’s Leave campaign, journalist Suzanne Evans has been widely critical of the EU’s hold over the UK. Prior to the vote, Suzanne presented her reasons on BBC News, in the below video:
However, financial editor Anthony Hilton warns of the economic impact such a monumental change could have on Britain, including the blow to trade and local businesses.
Though Suzanne is optimistic, Anthony is sceptical – we spoke to both public speakers to discover their reaction to the result.
Q: Suzanne, were you surprised by the final vote?
Suzanne: “I expected it to be close, because the government did such a thorough job on pushing an ‘apocalyptic’ agenda - and indeed it was.”
Q: Do you think the Brexit vote will shake up British politics?
Suzanne: “In my experience, politicians are slow to ‘wake up’ to anything. At the moment, many of those on the Remain side are still very much asleep, preferring to pursue their own prejudices against those of us who voted Leave rather than wondering how on earth they could have got it so wrong.”
Q: Anthony, do you believe that the financial market’s reaction to Brexit was justified?
Anthony: “Volatility in the markets is totally justified. How do you put a price on a business asset when you have no idea how that asset is going to earn its return in the future?”
Q: With the Brexit vote being so decisive, what would you say to questioning the final vote?
Suzanne: “Politicians who claim to respect democracy, then quite clearly do their best to undermine it, are not those for whom I have any respect. They called ‘Leave’ bigoted, but in fact they need to take a look in the mirror where that is concerned.”
Q: What should the next step be after Brexit?
Anthony: “What we really need is a general election to ask people if they really meant to vote the way they did. At the very least, Parliament should have to approve in advance any move to invoke Article 50, which sets the clock running for exit from the European Union.”
Q: Where do you see the UK in five years?
Suzanne: “Out of the EU, of course, and with trade deals signed with all those major world economies the EU failed to sign deals with - Canada, India, South Korea and Ghana have already been banging on our door to sign up, and more will follow.”
“The pound will be strong against the euro, which will still be on the brink of failure, if not having already failed, and we will be thanking our lucky stars we are no longer responsible for any more euro bailouts.”
“Our public services will be stronger and less overwhelmed, as the impact of our new points-based immigration system kicks in, and our economy will be growing as we invite the brightest and best from around the world to come and live in and contribute to Britain provided they are self-supporting.”
“I would like to think democracy in Britain could have got a shot in the arm too: the turnout for the EU referendum was ground-breaking. We should have more of them, on issues of greatest national importance, say at least every two years.”
Q: Who is the best person to lead the UK post-Brexit?
Suzanne: “I have been so impressed by Andrea Leadsom throughout the EU referendum campaign,” she said. “She’s the MP for South Northamptonshire who’s currently Minister of State for Energy and was previously Economic Secretary to the Treasury.”
“She has been relentlessly positive and competent throughout. If the Tories do not choose her as leader, she must be the new Chancellor. If I had the power, I’d install her as Chancellor tomorrow while David Cameron sees out his notice period.”
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