Fears Brexit could mean the end of the Leeds German Christmas Market

Leeds German Christmas Market may not be able to continue after Brexit, traders fear.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 2:56 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 8:29 am
The Leeds German Christmas Market 2018.

The Leeds Christkindelmarkt has been running for over 16 years, but traders are concerned that they may not be here next year.

And Leeds City Council has said that the long-term future of the market is difficult to predict with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

An established trader at the market said that if there is a no deal Brexit there won’t even be a Leeds Christmas Market.

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The Leeds German Christmas Market 2018.

David Webster, 62, is originally from England but has lived in Bavaria in Germany since 1972.

Mr Webster said: “We have no idea what’s going on so it all depends on what happens in politics but the message we get changes all the time.

“We hope to come back but obviously it depends on the immigration agreements.

“If there is no deal there won’t be a German Christmas market.

The Leeds German Christmas Market 2017.

“Next year and maybe the year after we might be safe because they’ll still be organising things, unless something drastic happens.

“I’m really worked up about it. You’ll find people are too scared to talk about it in case they lose their jobs.”

Sasha Conway, 30, from, Burley, Leeds, helps to run a coffee bean stall in the market.

Mr Conway said: “With Brexit you can’t trust any guarantee that immigrants can stay. We don’t even know the process about how people would apply to stay which makes it even more complicated.

The Leeds German Christmas Market 2018

“I’m worried it will become more hostile. I joked that I’d leave the UK if we voted to leave but now I’m actually moving to Canada to be with my wife.

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Leeds City Council have said that despite uncertainty, they are confident that there will Christmas attractions in the city next year.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “The German Christmas market is a staple of the annual Leeds events calendar with residents and visitors enjoying Millennium Square’s transformation into a scenic winter village since 2002.

“The UK’s exit from the European Union continues to cause uncertainty for the council, as it does for businesses and citizens. As such making long term predictions about the future remain difficult.

“Nevertheless, we are confident that the winter events programme will again be hugely attractive in 2019 and beyond, and we hope and expect that due to our strong relationship with our friends in Frankfurt Am Main the German Christmas Market will remain a major attraction in the city.”

The German market runs every year. This year it opened on Friday, November 9 and will finish on Saturday, December 22.