Campaigns react after majority of Mail readers tell us they want to leave EU

The European Union flag and national flags in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The European Union flag and national flags in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

North East voters are set to back Britain’s exit from the EU, if the results of our poll are anything to go by.

More than 3,500 people voted on-line across the Echo website and those of our sister papers the Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail.

And more than two-thirds of those taking part indicated they will be voting ‘out’ in the ballot a week today.

Quitting the EU attracted support from 72 per cent of those taking part, with just 28 per cent of those voting indicating they were backing the ‘Remain’ campaign.

A Vote Leave spokesman said: “The North East stands to gain a huge amount when we Vote Leave on June 23.

“The region is known for its industrial innovation and ambition. When we take back control of our trade negotiations, budgets and immigration policy, we can make sure the North East’s priorities are met.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson

“Every year, the North East sends £496million to the EU – a quarter of the school’s budget for the region in 2015-2016.

“Just think of what we could do with that money.”

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson yesterday warned Brexit would not solve problems around the EU immigration and urged the party’s supporters not to vote Leave just to give a “bloody nose” to David Cameron, warning that EU withdrawal would be “worse than the consequences of Tory rule”.

Mr Watson’s warning came as the Labour Leave campaign released a poster designed to encourage left-leaning voters to take out their frustrations on Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne in the referendum. The Internet-only picture showed the two Conservatives under the slogan “Wipe the smile off their faces”.

Passions ran high on both sides of the debate on the Mail website and views among readers were mixed.

Nick1111 wrote: “Some of the comments on here sound like turkeys voting for Christmas.

“Vote Brexit and the North-East will become even more depressed. Do you really think the right-wing nutcases who are pro-Brexit will care one jot about the problems of the North East after we lose all our subsidies from Europe? VOTE REMAIN!!”

But Reprise wrote: “The EU did nothing while Heath’s & Thatcher’s gov’s destroyed our coal industry. The EU did nothing while our shipbuilding was destroyed by cheap foreign yards.

“The EU did nothing while their toxic policies destroyed our fishing industry. The EU did nothing while Britain’s gas & power was taken over by foreigners.

“Bit of a 40 year pattern emerging here? All the EU has ever done in each of the disastrous examples given above is to offer the UK a bit of our OWN MONEY back so that we can give these and other UK industries a decent funeral.”

Strong opinions on both sides

Passions ran high on both sides of the debate on the Mail website and views among readers were mixed.

Nick1111 wrote: “Some of the comments on here sound like turkeys voting for Christmas.

“Vote Brexit and the North-East will become even more depressed. Do you really think the right-wing nutcases who are pro-Brexit will care one jot about the problems of the North East after we lose all our subsidies from Europe? VOTE REMAIN!!”

But Reprise wrote: “The EU did nothing while Heath’s & Thatcher’s gov’s destroyed our coal industry. The EU did nothing while our shipbuilding was destroyed by cheap foreign yards.

“The EU did nothing while their toxic policies destroyed our fishing industry. The EU did nothing while Britain’s gas & power was taken over by foreigners.

“Bit of a 40 year pattern emerging here? All the EU has ever done in each of the disastrous examples given above is to offer the UK a bit of our OWN MONEY back so that we can give these and other UK industries a decent funeral.”