The Huffington Post UK - Manchester Divided On No-Deal Brexit As Fear And Frustration Mount

We ask Mancunian traders how they think our exit from the EU will affect their trade.

Manchester had the strongest Remain vote in the north west of England, with 60.4% choosing to stay in the EU. 

But across the region, the results varied wildly – with seven authorities out of the three boroughs voting to leave. 

On the latest leg of our HuffPost’s Listens tour, we stopped off to hear what voters in pro-Brexit areas - including Bury (54.1% ‘Leave’) and Salford (56.8% ‘Leave’) – made of the latest paralysis in Westminster.


Butcher Alex Carey who runs a stall at Greater Manchester’s famed Bury Market voted to leave the EU – and is sticking to it. 

“It’s a bit of a farce at the moment regarding the government,” he told HuffPost UK. “They have had quite a long time to sort it out.”

He says he isn’t particularly worried about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit and even though there may be some upheaval, he says things will settle down.

“It will cause a bit of chaos probably for a few months maybe but it will get sorted out because business has to go on; life goes on.

“Some stuff we do import from the EU like Danish bacon but we do source UK stuff.

“They might be probably a little bit of a rise in prices due to concerns about getting the stock on time. But I do think it will settle down.”

Carey believes people have been scared by warnings of a no-deal, but added: “I voted leave as I don’t really like the idea of someone dictating what we are doing from Brussels.”


Sharon Plaskett is a fishmonger working at Bury Seafoods stall, and said she voted leave but has now changed her mind.

“I voted to leave but I wish I hadn’t have done. I just followed what everyone else was doing and did not know the reasons why.

“The company I was keeping at the time persuaded me to leave without me having my own opinion.”

She says now she knows more about the issue, she thinks it is better for Britain to stay with Europe.

“I think if we leave, it will affect business. It will affect a lot of things – supermarkets, the food chains – I just think it will affect everything.

“I think people weren’t knowledgeable enough about it. I think people jumped on the bandwagon and voted what everyone told them to vote without looking deep into it.”

She is also worried about how Brexit will affect her fish trade.

“It is just a case of wait and see. It could benefit us but I just don’t think it will.”


Sallie Fellows runs the Snapdragon florist stall on Bury Market and has deep concerns about how Brexit will affect her trade.

“Truthfully, I didn’t vote at all, but I would have voted to stay in.

“We import our flowers from Holland so we are worried about the cost of flowers and how it is going to affect our business to be able to retail at the right price and being able to get things like we do at the moment 

“We are worried prices will go up.” 


Nurse Kaniz Rowe care deeply about her patients and told HuffPost UK that she fears Brexit will lead to higher costs for the NHS and prescriptions going up. 

“I am not with Theresa May. It is not the right thing to do.”

She says she does not want the country to leave the EU as “all the jobs and everything is going off. My heart is with my patients. I love my patients. It is not fair.

“If Europe go, we are not going to get anything and prices are going to go up.”

She added she is concerned about patients waiting for long periods in A&E and about people getting neglected due to prices going up in the NHS.


Georgia Pullan is a fashion design student at Salford University and says that she doesn’t know much about Brexit, as she was only 16 when the vote happened.

However, she says a planned cultural fashion trip to Tokyo was cancelled due to fears about the impact of Brexit.

“We were supposed to go in April but that was when the Brexit deal was supposed to happen so the uni was like: ’we are not going to let anyone go on the trip in case anything happens so they moved it to the summer. 

“But we can’t go in the summer now because it is too expensive so they have had to cancel it. We were a bunch of very unhappy 19 and 20-year-olds!”

She says the concerns were around Brexit leading to anything happening like a change in passports affecting them if the trip had gone ahead in April. 


Shamaiah Gordon works in the music industry and told us that he has mixed feelings about Brexit.

“The main problem is that since the Brexit deal happened, a lot of people are losing jobs because most of their jobs are from the EU.

“Because of that, a lot of people are complaining and are annoyed and frustrated.

“But at the same time, they want the deal to go through but a lot of people don’t understand what the deal actually is.”

He says he is not sure what the best solution is but says we should go with Brexit “as long as the terms have some positives and as long as we are coming away with something good in the end and a positive outcome.”


Aaron Gillen, 25, who works at a casino in Salford, voted to remain and says he feels it was “stupid” that the country voted in favour of Brexit.

“I don’t think it is going to be good for us in the long run.

“We are part of the European community at the moment and I feel that if we back out of this, there is a chance we will not get some of the benefits if we had stayed.”

He is unsure whether a second referendum would be the answer but would still vote to remain.

“Now that the first referendum went through and we ended up agreeing on Brexit, I think it has taken the wind out of a lot of people’s sails and I just think people are losing a bit of interest and think no matter what we do now, there is never going to be a second one so it is a bit of a pointless struggle.”


Staunch Labour supporter Tracy Stanley who works in Salford voted to remain as she believes it is in everyone’s best interests and says she is “dismayed at the mess everything is in” with Brexit.

“I feel like it has been really divisive. I don’t feel either political party has come out of it very well. I feel the British people have been let down.”

She strongly believes people were not told enough about what it would mean to leave the EU and the full repercussions and is worried about things like food prices, farming standards and animal welfare.

“I am quite worried about what it is going to mean for people economically in this country.

“People voted without really knowing what they were voting for.

“I want to like Jeremy Corbyn more than I do. But I don’t feel he is a very strong leader.”


Credit: The Huffington Post UK