Businesses question Hastings and Rye parliamentary candidates

Nick Perry, Clive Galbraith (chamber chairman), Sean Dennis (chamber director), and Peter Chowney
Nick Perry, Clive Galbraith (chamber chairman), Sean Dennis (chamber director), and Peter Chowney

Business owners had the chance to meet with some of the town’s prospective parliamentary candidates on Friday (May 26).

Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce organised the event at Kino-Teatr in Norman Road, St Leonards ahead of next week’s General Election.

Nick Perry, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hastings and Rye and Peter Chowney, Labour’s candidate, answered questions put forward by members about various topics, such as Brexit, and where their respective party stood on policies.

Amber Rudd, the Conservatives’ candidate and Home Secretary was due to attend but was unable to as she was in a COBRA meeting in London following last Monday’s terror attack in Manchester.

Mr Perry and Mr Chowney were asked to give their reason on how their respective party was best placed to protect business interests.

Mr Chowney said: “I voted against Brexit and wanted us to remain in the EU.

“A lot of industry here depends on people coming in from the rest of the EU and that’s going to suffer.

“We have also benefitted from a lot of grants from the EU. When the deal is finally done as regards Brexit, it won’t please everyone.

“The negotiations have to be much more subtle and much less aggressive than they are now.”

Mr Perry said: “We need to give the final say to the people. The vote to leave is already affecting sterling.”

He added that other political parties had ‘no idea where they were going with Brexit’.

Mr Perry said: “I believe that a ‘hard’ Brexit will damage the economy locally.”

Mr Chowney also said the transport infrastructure in the area needed improving. He said: “Rail services are awful and we need the high-speed services here.”

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