Brexit vot­ers urge MPs to make a move

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

SUN­DER­LAND, United King­dom — “It just needs to be sorted,” said 23-year-old Adam Green, a frus­trated Leave voter in Brex­it­back­ing Sun­der­land, where pa­tience with par­lia­men­tary de­lays over Bri­tain’s de­par­ture is wear­ing thin.

The for­mer ship­build­ing city in north­east Eng­land, where the Nis­san car­maker plant is now the lifeblood, played a star­ring role in Bri­tain’s seismic de­ci­sion to leave the Euro­pean Union.

The city’s 61 per­cent vote in fa­vor of leav­ing in the 2016 ref­er­en­dum sig­naled early on where the na­tion was head­ing on the night of June 23, 2016 and cel­e­bra­tions at the count were beamed world­wide.

Now, as MPs pre­pare for Tues­day’s de­ci­sion on whether or not to back the divorce deal struck be­tween Lon­don and Brus­sels, vot­ers in Sun­der­land are urg­ing them to get on with it and get Bri­tain out.

The years of wran­gling since the ref­er­en­dum over how, or even if, Bri­tain leaves have cer­tainly damp­ened the high spir­its of that 2016 June night.

“It’s be­come an ab­so­lute joke,” said Green, who is un­em­ployed for med­i­cal rea­sons, as he stood out­side the Bridges main shop­ping cen­ter.

“It’s dis­re­spect­ing my vote com­pletely. My­self and my whole fam­ily voted for us to come out,” he said.

“The MPs need to get their heads down and get us out.

“I just want it over and done with be­cause I’m sick of hear­ing about Brexit,” he added.

The Univer­sity of Sun­der­land cam­pus was built in the 1990s on the site of for­mer ship­yards that once dom­i­nated the banks of the River Wear in this work­ing-class city of 275,000 peo­ple.

Sun­der­land was a coal trad­ing port, had its own col­lieries, was a glass­mak­ing cen­ter and boasted a ma­jor brew­ery.

The heavy in­dus­try has largely evap­o­rated, though the docks are still go­ing and ships’ horns echo among the cranes.

Bri­tain’s largest car fac­tory em­ploys more than 7,000 work­ers and builds 500,000 ve­hi­cles per year, in­clud­ing the Juke, Qashqai and elec­tric Leaf models. About 55 per­cent are ex­ported tar­iff-free to the EU.

Stephen O’Brien, a city coun­cilor for the pro-EU op­po­si­tion Lib­eral Democrats, said a no-deal Brexit’s ef­fect on the city’s man­u­fac­tur­ing would be “more dev­as­tat­ing than los­ing the pits and the boat in­dus­try”.

Strolling along Roker Beach, a sweep­ing bay where kayak­ers brave the chilly North Sea, 67-yearold Brian Halse said: “It’s just a sham­bles. I did vote for Brexit. I would like us to go out. I think we’re bet­ter off by our­selves.

“I like (Prime Min­is­ter) Theresa May but no­body’s back­ing her the way they should. We should all stick to­gether and go out the best way we can.”

Ron­nie Quinn, 60, pick­ing lit­ter on the river­bank by the Wear­mouth Bridge, said MPs were “act­ing like chil­dren” in­stead of up­hold­ing the ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

“I voted to leave — and we won. The coun­try’s made a choice and they should all be work­ing to­gether to shift Bri­tain out,” he said.

“I would pre­fer no deal. The coun­try did all right be­fore the EU.”

But Liz Su­laiman, 74, said she was more wor­ried about the ef­fects of a po­ten­tial no-deal Brexit on her grand­chil­dren.

“We’re just out on a limb.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.