King’s Lynn strings firm seeks Remain vote, but Leave side says their message is getting through

Bow Brand, Highgate, King's Lynn, Richard Howitt MEP with Bow Brand Director Carolyn Clarke trying the Harp for which Brand supply the Strings ANL-160613-133436009
Bow Brand, Highgate, King's Lynn, Richard Howitt MEP with Bow Brand Director Carolyn Clarke trying the Harp for which Brand supply the Strings ANL-160613-133436009

Britain will be out of tune if it votes to leave the European Union in next week’s referendum, a Lynn business leader has claimed today.

The comment from Carolyn Clarke, director of harp string manufacturer Bow Brand, was made as campaigners on both sides of the debate stepped up their efforts to persuade voters ahead of next Thursday’s poll.

But Leave supporters say a weekend opinion poll, which showed them in a clear lead, demonstrated their opponents’ message was being ignored by the public.

Bow Brand, which employs more than 25 people from its premises in Highgate, is a world-leading firm in the manufacture of harp strings which it then exports around the globe.

And Ms Clarke set out her reasons for backing the Remain campaign during a visit by Labour MEP Richard Howitt earlier today.

She said: “The European Union helps, not stops, us export to Europe and the rest of the world.

“Currently we can easily and quick export our world class harps anywhere to Europe without any paperwork or hassle.

“Anything that threatens that would be bad for our business.”

Mr Howitt added: “It should be music to our ears to hear that a world leading firm like Bow Brand say it is better off remaining in the European Union.

“They export to countries both inside and outside the European Union and show that we don’t have to choose between the two.

Business will actually suffer more ‘red tape’ if Britain left and uses the good name of Europe to get more business if we stay in.”

But an opinion poll published by our sister newspaper, the i, on Saturday, gave the Leave campaign a six point lead, which was increased to 10 when participants who described themselves as undecided were removed from the sample.

And UKIP’s Michael Stone, who was among the Vote Leave activists canvassing in the centre of Lynn on Saturday, claimed that showed his side was the one heading for victory.

He said they were confident of securing a big majority in West Norfolk itself, but would continue to canvass right up until polling day in a bid to ensure the Leave vote is as high as possible.

He said: “We’ve been out on the streets all year leafleting. We’re on message. We’ve been putting out the same message all through the campaign.

“We’ve had all the shock horror stories, but people don’t believe just how bad they say it’s going to be.

“The only thing they haven’t said is there’s going to be plagues and earthquakes. Project Fear just isn’t working.”

But Mr Howitt, who took part in a televised EU referendum debate alongside South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss last night, said: “The European Union is crucial for jobs, business and prosperity in Norfolk and in Britain, and we must not put all of those at risk.”

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