Struggling seaside communities will ‘suffer most from Brexit'

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Struggling seaside communities will be the hardest hit by Brexit unless they receive major investment, the chair of a Lords select committee has warned.

The Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns has warned that urgent investment is needed to reverse years of neglect.

Although seaside communities such as Blackpool and Southend-on-Sea voted to Leave, the committee’s chair Lord Bassom of Brighton said these towns actually had the most to lose from Brexit.

“There is no question about it that seaside communities will suffer most from the UK leaving the EU,” Lord Bassom told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes.

“They may well believe they won’t, but the truth of the matter is if you talk to employers in coastal communities they are very reliant on migrant labour.”

Lord Bassom said he believed people in seaside towns were motived to vote Leave because they felt “neglected and left behind”.

The committee’s report calls on the government to ensure the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will replace funding after Brexit, is targeted at struggling coastal communities.

He added: “Seaside towns need investment, they need new people to go there, they need to hang on to young people, they need investment in education, digital infrastructure, housing and most importantly they need investment in transport.

“Once we leave the EU we will need a scheme that ensures we are fully funded in those communities otherwise they will be left behind.”

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