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Au Revoir! French newspaper heads to Great Yarmouth for view on Brexit 'soap opera'

PUBLISHED: 12:26 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:26 08 October 2019

A Great Yarmouth cafe owner told a reporter from France that Brexit was boring  Picture: James Bass

A Great Yarmouth cafe owner told a reporter from France that Brexit was boring Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

A French newspaper looking on from across the channel at the Brexit "soap opera" has visited Norfolk's Leave capital to find out "what Britain wants."

View south along Hall Quay in Great Yarmouth towards the town hall.

Picture: James BassView south along Hall Quay in Great Yarmouth towards the town hall. Picture: James Bass

Nice-based publication 20 Minutes sent a reporter to Great Yarmouth to test its Brexit pulse three years after it delivered the country's fifth highest Leave vote, amounting to a 21,560 majority over Remain.

After speaking to people on the market and in the seaside cafes, as well as visiting Norwich, the reporter concludes the British "just want it all to stop."

And instead of the kind of fervour that brought people to the ballot box in 2016, he found only a Gallic shrug.

"Brexit is boring everyone because it has created a lot of uncertainty," Robert, a seaside cafe owner, is quoted as saying.

A reporter from French newspaper 20 Minutes spoke to people in Great Yarmouth about Brexit Picture: Antony KellyA reporter from French newspaper 20 Minutes spoke to people in Great Yarmouth about Brexit Picture: Antony Kelly

"I knew the process was going to be complicated, but I did not think it would last that long," Brian, described as "a big fan of Nigel Farage", is reported to "sigh".

In his piece, Nicolas Raffin talks about the "endless series of negotiations and political blockages that have finally tired a lot of citizens."

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He writes: "While the exit of the EU is scheduled for October 31, with or without a deal, 20 Minutes went to Norfolk, a part of the UK, where Brexit had many supporters in the 2016 referendum.

A French newspaper has looked to Great Yarmouth for views on the Brexit 'soap opera' three years after the referendum. Picture: 20 MinutesA French newspaper has looked to Great Yarmouth for views on the Brexit 'soap opera' three years after the referendum. Picture: 20 Minutes

"Three years later pro and anti-Brexit seem to have more than one idea in mind: that the soap opera finally ends."

Visiting the "great boulevard of the waterfront" in Yarmouth where 71.5pc voted to exit the EU he found local people to be "rather fatalistic on the subject."

On the market, Leave-voting Lenny says it has "become such a mess", adding: "I only ask that it all stops.

"If we have to leave the EU, we must come out of it.

"But I suspect it's not that simple."

Robert, whose father moved to Yarmouth from Italy fifty years ago, said: "The people that voted in favour of Brexit are those that did not want any more foreigners."

He goes on to speak to Ali from Kurdistan who says: "The people here are not hostile to us, but they are not very open. I will wait to see what will happen with Brexit, and maybe I will leave the country to settle elsewhere in Europe."

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