Local politicians react to referendum

The votes from Aberdeenshire being announced
The votes from Aberdeenshire being announced

The impact of last week’s vote for the UK to leave the EU are still being felt, and local politicians have spoken about the implications for the area.

Aberdeenshire voted to keep its membership within the EU by 54.99% against 44.97% who voted to leave.

However, the UK as a whole voted to Leave by EU.

SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine said: “I am very proud that Aberdeen City and Shire joined Scotland to cast a resounding vote to remain, and that must be recognised and respected by the UK government. Dragging our nation out against the will of the people here will only create huge upset.

“I have been out in my constituency over the weekend speaking to EU nationals who live and work here. This is obviously a difficult time not just for citizens of this country, but people who have moved here to contribute to our society and economy.

“I do have concerns for how this decision could affect the area, but would like to reassure all of my constituents that I will be working in the Scottish Parliament to determine what safeguards we can put in place to protect our communities.”

Liberal Democrat MSP for North East Scotland, Mike Rumbles, said: “The North East is at the sharp end of the vote to leave the EU, and our communities will be affected more than most. As well as market turmoil creating more uncertainty for the oil and gas sector, our farming and fishing industries are inextricably liked to EU support and guidelines.

“While I’m delighted the majority of people across the region voted to remain, and respect the views of those who did not, I will now be working to ensure the north-east gets the best deal out of the situation we have.”

Conservative MSP for North East Scotland Alex Johnstone said: “Many people I have spoken to are shocked by the outcome, even some of those who voted for it!

“We will back efforts to ensure the Scottish Government is involved at all times in the UK discussion, along with other devolved governments and regional centres of power, but the SNP must not be allowed to use these negotiations as a way to push once more for Scottish independence.

“Here in Mearns we have a lot to lose if we get this wrong. Our extreme labour shortage means that European workers are the back-bone of many local businesses, especially in the food production and processing industry which is the second biggest contributor to the north-east economy; we cannot afford to undermine confidence.”