‘Forget Brexit, we need Nexit’: Inside the movement to get Norfolk out of the UK
PUBLISHED: 16:13 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:31 21 February 2020
‘People said Brexit wouldn’t happen, but look at that. Nexit is the next big thing.’
Following news that a devolution deal for the East of England could be back on the table, a group campaigning for Norfolk's independence has doubled down on its efforts.
The Norfolk Independence Party describe themselves as a non-violent and peaceful politically motivated group lobbying for Norfolk's independence from the rest of the UK, to increase the happiness and prosperity of those living in the county.
With already more than 120 members, the group's founder claims "it's time for Nexit".
Jacob Morrell, 20, a cleaner from Norwich, founded the group with friend Dominic Slater after saying he felt "certain things in Norfolk aren't given enough care and attention and money isn't going where we want".
He said: "Mental health services in the county aren't given enough attention, and small businesses are struggling. There are people struggling that could do with a higher standard.
"If you look at the amount of green spaces and farmland there is, it's more than feasible for Norfolk to stay by itself and decide how it wants to be.
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"Norfolk sustained itself throughout history and did just fine in medieval times and in the days of Boudica. It's time for Nexit."
The radical idea to turn Norfolk into its own nation state follows an increased desire in the region for regional control over funds from central government.
Ipswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt has written to the Department for Housing and Local Government to ask what plans there are to elect a mayor to represent East Anglia, who he believes would give the region a voice in discussions about investment.
While Mr Morrell admits the Norfolk Independence Party is a "tongue in cheek bit of fun", he said genuine concerns motivated him to create the group.
He said: "The general sentiment is we want change, we do want mental health services and small businesses need more money pumping into them.
"I'd like people to take away from this that we should take care of Norfolk and look after what we have. We should preserve Norfolk the beautiful way it is."