Sense of shock as Sheffield and England backs '˜Brexit'
Voters on both sides of the fence have expressed their shock after Sheffield and England voted to leave the European Union.
Sheffield’s Leave campaign won by 6,000 votes in Thursday’s referendum on Britain’s EU membership – 51 per cent of the total vote.
In a turnout of 67 per cent, Sheffield voters mirrored the picture nationally, in which 51.9 per cent of people voted to leave.
But following Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation, the pound hitting a 30-year low, and £124 billion being wiped off the UK stock market, voters on both sides described feelings shock yesterday morning in Sheffield – and a feeling of uncertainty for the future.
Sitting outside Sheffield Cathedral, Chris Wells, aged 39, said he was ‘truly shocked’.
Chris, who voted remain, said: When I woke up this morning, the first thing I saw was Nigel Farage’s face and I knew things weren’t right.
“I’m truly shocked by the result. I knew it was close, but I honestly thought Remain would get it. I expected a lot of the undecided voters to vote in.
“I work for a charity and our future funding is in question. It’s worrying times.”
Christine Chesters, 70, said she wasn’t sure if she made the right choice or not.
She said: “I voted to leave the European Union. But, if I’m truthful, I don’t know if it was the right decision or not. I just worry what effect it will have on the young people.
“I remember what it was like before we joined the EU. But I don’t think it will go back to how it used to be either.
“We’ll probably have a referendum on if we want to join again in a few years – unless it all collapses.”
Support worker Nikita Hill, 28, said she was open-minded about the campaign, but backed Leave in a last-minute decision.
She said: “I was actually quite shocked when I woke up this morning. I really did not expect we would go.”
Sat in the Peace Gardens, Daha Aggag, 25, said the result had left her feeling sad and unsure about the future.
Daha, a full-time student from Lowedges, said: “I was very shocked we voted to leave, to be honest.
“I am sad we are going. I don’t know how this vote is going to affect me, it’s difficult to predict.”
Despite the uncertainty from people in Sheffield city centre, there was a lot of relieved Leave voters posting onto The Star’s social media feeds.
Ron Frith posted: “Well done Sheffield.” Sharon Conway said: “Brilliant, thank God.” Angela Wilson-Stone said: “Should never have joined the EU – time to clean up UK.”
Philip Bradish said: “Absolutely fantastic news to wake up too.” Danny Bailey said: “Well done Sheffield, you’ve done us proud.”
Toni Budh said: “Congratulations to all those who voted in favour of their country.
“Don’t let the stock market shock you – our economy will endure in the long run. The world is a big economical platform. Goodbye Brussels.”
Gordon and Shirley Furneaux, both 77, who are visiting Sheffield from Torquay in Devon, said the result was an ‘absolute disaster’.
Shirley, who voted remain, said: “I think we’ve done our country a huge disservice, I’m afraid.
“The pound has already plummeted and that’s going to take some picking up. We are going to have to have a general election – but there’s nobody that’s good enough to replace David Cameron.” Gordon, who also voted Remain, said: “I don’t think there’s any real leaders any more. We didn’t use to have referendum’s – politicians would just make the decision.”
Tomasi Chwesiuk, 24, who came to the UK from Poland less than one month ago, said the result was still sinking in.
He said: “I came three weeks ago, but now I think I would like to live in a country that is open to all.
“I really like England, but I’m struggling to find work and I think this result might be time for me to try a new experience.”
But for care worker Patrick Watson, 61, of Firth Park, the result was the right one for England.
He said: “Europe was not working, I’m not sure it ever has been working. We are different people.
“I think David Cameron was always going to resign if we voted to leave the EU.”
The rest of South Yorkshire voted overwhelmingly to leave the European Union, with 61.56 per cent of people in the region backing ’Brexit’ and 38.44 per cent voting Remain. At 67.3 per cent, Sheffield had the lowest voter turnout in the county.
Across the Yorkshire and Humber region, 58 per cent of voters backed Leave while nationally the UK voted Leave by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
Following a turnout of 69.9 per cent, 89,958 Barnsley residents voted out – 68.3 per cent – and 38,951 voted in – 31.7 per cent.
In Doncaster the turnout was 69.5 per cent, with 104,260 voting leave – 69 per cent – and 46,922 – 31 per cent – backing Remain.
In Rotherham the turnout was also 69.5 per cent. In the town 93,272 voted to leave the EU – 67.9 per cent – and 44,115 people voted out – 32.1 per cent.
Before the result was announced yesterday, a Star poll found that 65 per cent of respondents backed a call to leave the EU
Jubilant Vote Leave supporters said yesterday it was a ‘huge’ result in Sheffield and added many Labour voters had campaigned alongside UKIP members for the referendum.
Sheffield UKIP councillor Jack Clarkson said he was delighted by the result.
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