Devon

EU Referendum: 'Uncertainty' fears after Brexit vote

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Image caption Brexit campaigners celebrate after victory in the South West

Business leaders in Devon have raised fears for the future after the Brexit vote.

One said firms faced "uncertainty" while another said it would be a "real disadvantage".

Devon voted by 55% to 45% to leave the European Union and in Torbay almost two in three people who voted wanted out.

Plymouth, Torridge, North Devon, Mid Devon, East Devon and Teignbridge also voted to leave. Only Exeter and the South Hams voted to remain.

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Louise Pasterfield, managing director of Plymouth-based digital training business Sponge UK, said: "I respect democracy at work, but I would have preferred to remain.

"Forty per cent of our clients come from mainland Europe so we will need to look at the implications.

"This also impacts our plans to open a new office in Europe. We may need to consider a country outside the EU like Switzerland."

Steve Gerry, secretary to the Plymouth Manufacturers' Group said: "We believe that remaining in the EU would have been best for UK manufacturing and best for the Plymouth economy."

Totnes Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who made headlines when she switched from Leave to Remain earlier this month, wrote on Twitter after the result: "I don't feel any sense of 'freedom' today but my job is to make sure that Parliament respects the result & work positively to implement it."

Analysis: Jenny Kumah, BBC SW Political Reporter

It's not that surprising that Devon delivered a strong leave vote.

During the campaign we heard the farming community was split with some unsure of the benefits of the Common Agriculture Policy and funding they get from Europe.

Devon's fishing community voiced anger with quotas and rules from the EU. This could explain why the highest leave votes were in Torridge and Torbay - both areas have a significant fishing industry.

Only two areas in Devon voted for remain, Exeter and the South Hams.

Exeter is used to bucking the trend in the region. The city returned the South West's only Labour MP in the general election last year. The South Hams forms part of Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston's Totnes constituency - and she famously recently swapped sides to support remain.

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