Brexit vote watched nervously by British expats in Calgary
British vote to leave European Union could embolden other isolationist movements, policy expert says
Despite being more than 7,000 kilometres away from the U.K., some British expats in the Calgary area are very invested in what may be the most important referendum in British history.
The country votes today on whether to stay in the European Union, and polls suggest it could be decided by the narrowest of margins.
Simone Hodgkinson and her husband, who moved to Alberta in 2001, own the British Chippy restaurants in Bridlewood and Okotoks.
Their family back home is divided on the issue of a Brexit.
"I would vote to stay. My in-laws would not like that vote. But yeah, I would vote to stay," she said.
But, she admits, her opinion changes, depending on who she's spoken to that day.
"Our family are quite torn," she said.
"Certainly to our family and to our heritage and to our history... and to what the future may bring because of this vote, it's extremely important."
Ron Kneebone, an instructor at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, said the outcome of the vote won't have a big impact on people in Alberta.
But he worries how the referendum could influence some Canadians' thinking about being part of a larger entity.
"My concern is it might cause all these sorts of groups who say, 'I don't like the idea of commonality of free movement of goods and people across borders. I don't like these things. I want to be more insulated,'" he said.
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