A MEMBER of the Portuguese community in Wrexham says Brexit holds no fears, as he continues to plan for life in the town.

Jose Simoes, a Portuguese national, runs the Lisbon Cafe on Church Street in the town centre, which has opened in the last 12 months, and has lived in the area since 2004.

Mr Simoes has gone into business with his friend, Dylan Williams, who runs DG Car Hire in Grange Court, and says their partnership, and friendship between their families, proves what a welcoming town Wrexham is.

He said he feels nothing will change with Brexit and the decision can be reversed by the next generation, adding the Portuguese community have been in Wrexham for more than 50 years.

"I feel for this town, this place is our home," he said.

"People know me, they recognise me, they cross the road to speak to me. I'm proud to be here. I use meat from the local butcher's in cooking, the perfect combination of Welsh and Portuguese coming together.

"The Portuguese are very original and so are the Welsh. The Welsh have kept the language and it is very different to anything else across this island."

Mr Simoes added: "We have not felt any effect so far. The Portuguese have been here since the 1960s, there have been many ups and downs and we have remained here.

"It is a cosmopolitan country. I think nothing much will change for people here unless it changes for everyone, whether British, Welsh, Portuguese or Japanese."

And Mr Simoes pointed to the friendship between his son Michael and Mr Williams' son Rhys as an example of positive hope for the future.

He said: "I always say Brexit is for our age, the current generation.

"But maybe Rhys and Michael don't agree, maybe our kids will scrap it when their generation is in power. The country can change from one day to the next.

"At the beginning there might be import and export issues but they will be ironed out.

"Maybe lifestyles will have to be adjusted but what will affect me will also affect the likes of Tesco, because they import wines from countries like Portugal too for example. So we are all in the same boat."

Mr Simoes said whatever happens, he feels Wrexham town centre has to change from being retail focused in an online world.

He said: "The town needs to be revived and have more to offer than it's got now. It has to modernise.

"This business is small but it is an investment in the town and Wrexham, and people need to be offered something more to persuade them to come here rather than Chester, where there are more restaurants and places are open later.

"The Fat Boar has been excellent for the town since it opened.

"I know the history of Wrexham, it used to be a miners' and a steelworks area but it changed, and with people shopping online at the click of a button it needs to change again.

"Too many shops are closing and there needs to be something to replace them.

"But we are thankful to be here, Wrexham is an original place."