1. ITV Report

Article 50: The Brexit view from 'Remain' voting Cambridge

  • Matthew Hudson visited Cambridge, one of the only area's in the region to vote remain. This is his takeaway of what people there think of the triggering of Article 50.
Feelings still run high in Cambridge. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Cambridge is the most cosmopolitan place in our region. From all over Europe and the world people come to visit, study and work.

Not surprisingly it was our most vociferously Remain area.

From a turnout of 72.2 per cent at the referendum:

  • 73.8% voted to remain in the EU.
  • 26.2% voted to leave the EU.
It was one of the only areas in the region to vote remain. Credit: ITV Anglia.

That is not surprising. The city's university is renowned around the world, it's high tech companies increasingly trade around the globe.

This year its economy is set to hit £9.3 billion - that is from a city of only around 140,000 people.

Among the food stalls on the city's market we found most people are still remain.

Jean Pierre Lormont voted to stay in the EU. His family has owned this Italian restaurant for 35 years.

Jean Pierre Lormont runs his family's restaurant. Credit: ITV Anglia.

His mum's Italian, his dad's French. He's pure Cambridge and believes we need to be optimistic.

I voted to remain I wouldn’t change my mind however I’m more of a person who’s - and I overhear people who are still really raw today - I’m not one of those people I’m very optimistic.

I think things shouldn’t be too bad in the end, and I think you have to be optimistic.

– Jean Pierre Lormont, Restaurant owner

But his Portugese chef Mario has real concerns that Brexit will make it harder to get the staff they need.

When I first arrived in here 22 years ago it was difficult to find staff already then it got better and better and I think that it’s going to be very very difficult. The restaurants are going to suffer quite a lot.

– Mario Matos, Chef

Damian Croft is also worried. He organises high end tours to Sicily and other Mediterranean destinations and wants freedom of movement to be as unchanged as possible.

The British public will still want to continue to holiday in the European Union, they’ll still want to take their families there and so anything that keeps us as close to that is good news for us as a company.

– Damian Croft, Esplora Ltd

But you can still find positivity in unlikely places. The charity Alliance Francais has been helping Brits learn French in Cambridge for 35 years.

More people appear to be wanting to learn French. Credit: ITV Anglia.

They have seen a marked increase in applications.

It had an impact as quite a few students came to say they wanted to learn French, they wanted to keep their French up for business, for family for many reasons so that’s had a good impact in fact as we’ve had more students.

– Virginie Friend, Alliance Francaise

As one of the east's economic powerhouses Cambridge is not used to being on the losing side.

By and large the feeling here remains that the rest of the region got it wrong.

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