Bury businessman’s concerns for the future after Brexit

Beautiful Beers' Rene van den Oort
Beautiful Beers' Rene van den Oort

A Bury St Edmunds businessman has spoken of his concerns over the uncertainty created by Brexit.

Rene van den Oort, who runs Beautiful Beers, in St John’s Street, said he has made contingency arrangements to ensure stability in the short term but has cancelled plans to expand into Ipswich and Norwich.

Graffiti on a sign near the former Flying Fortress pub on Moreton Hall, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture submitted by Jonathon Scrivener. ANL-160629-135924001

Graffiti on a sign near the former Flying Fortress pub on Moreton Hall, in Bury St Edmunds. Picture submitted by Jonathon Scrivener. ANL-160629-135924001

He said it was also a ‘sad time’ personally and from speaking to customers.

“I had one lady in the shop almost in tears,” he said. “She is a teacher from France who has lived here for 30 years and she said she feels like she’s not welcome anymore.”

Eleven organisation have signed the ‘Suffolk Solidarity’ campaign pledging to protect non-UK nationals in Suffolk from violence and discrimination following the EU vote. It was created by the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality following concerns about the recent upsurge in attacks on non-UK nationals across the country since the result.

The pledge reads: “We want to avoid any such incidents in Suffolk - a county which has a proud tradition of welcoming people from a broad range of countries, cultures and faith systems’.

Suffolk and Norfolk Police say they haven’t had a significant increase in reports of racial hate crime since Brexit.

Two incidents of graffiti daubed on signs in Moreton Hall have been reported to the Bury Free Press - a Bury St Edmunds jewel in the crown of Suffolk sign with offensive language about Brexit and an estate agent’s sign vandalised to read ‘we sold the EU’.