- Title: Can Britain's election heal Brexit divisions?
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (RECENT - MAY 2017) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS PROFANITY*** FISH AND CHIPS SIGN SEEN PAST RUBBLE PEOPLE WALKING PAST SIGN READING (English): "WELCOME TO ROKER SUNDERLAND" PEOPLE WALKING BY BEACH FISH AND CHIPS AND AMUSEMENT PARK MAN AND YOUNG BOY SKIPPING STONES INTO THE SEA AT THE BEACH PEOPLE FISHING (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOTER IN SUNDERLAND, ANN STEPHENSON, (VOTED TO REMAIN) SAYING: "They've lost all their traditional industry; I totally understand where they're coming from. They feel very remote from London where the big decisions are made and they look at someone like Theresa May and think 'you have not got a clue what we're going through up here.' There's no jobs, there's no prospects, you worry for your children because you wonder where they'll find a sensible job that will earn them enough money to even buy a house now." PEOPLE WALKING IN SUNDERLAND'S CITY CENTRE BINS IN ALLEY WAY / PEOPLE WALKING PAST CLOSED SHOP WOMAN SMOKING IN CITY CENTRE CLOSED SPORTS SHOP IN CITY CENTRE (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOTER IN SUNDERLAND, DAVID WATSON, (VOTED TO REMAIN) SAYING: " Sick of it, we've had election, then we've had referendum for Europe, I've just had enough. Just want to get it over with and start again. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSERVATIVE VOTER IN SUNDERLAND, WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY ALWAYS VOTED LABOUR, ALAN WILLIAMSON, (VOTED TO LEAVE) SAYING: "Well the two men who got us in this predicament, right, which was Cameron and UKIP - right - they've all run away, you know what I mean?" SHIPYARD UNION JACK FLAG FLYING IN FRONT OF COUNCIL ESTATE EXTERIOR OF "COLLIERY TAVERN" PUB "COLLIERY TAVERN" SIGN PEOPLE DRINKING BEER IN PUB / PHOTOS OF MINERS ON THE WALLS VARIOUS OF PUB LANDLORD, JOHN SNAITH, BEHIND BAR (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSERVATIVE VOTER IN SUNDERLAND AND LANDLORD OF THE COLLIERY TAVERN, JOHN SNAITH, (VOTED TO LEAVE) SAYING: "At the end of the day we were the town that turned the country, which was very, very surprising. They're just fed up. We need a change. The northeast, not just Sunderland, the northeast needs a change." VARIOUS OF WOMAN BEHIND BAR PULLING A PINT (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOTER IN SUNDERLAND, STEVE JONES, (VOTED TO LEAVE) SAYING: "The Brexit is done now and it's been voted on, why are we backtracking? Why should people say nah, we want this, we want that, because it might not have been right? It's full of shit, they're full of shit." (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOTER IN SUNDERLAND, JAMES PERROZZI, (VOTED TO LEAVE) SAYING: "The people have voted; the people have had their say and they've got to respect it - and just move forward." PEOPLE SITTING IN PUB WITH PINTS OF BEER PINT OF BEER ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CONSERVATIVE VOTER IN SUNDERLAND AND LANDLORD OF THE COLLIERY TAVERN, JOHN SNAITH, (VOTED TO LEAVE) SAYING: "Because of the slow movement of Brexit and all the rest of it, they're now thinking: 'oh did we do, did we do right?' The election and the aftermath of the election will prove whether Sunderland was right or not." PEOPLE DRINKING AND CHATTING IN THE PUB PEOPLE SITTING IN PUB / MAN WEARING SUNDERLAND FOOTBALL SHIRT PINT OF HALF-EMPTY BEER ON TABLE BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 31, 2017) (REUTERS) SUN SHINING IN BLUE SKY BURNT OUT BRIGHTON PIER IN THE SEA PEOPLE SUNBATHING ON BEACH BURNT OUT PIER PEOPLE LYING ON BEACH PEOPLE CANOEING IN SEA RED STOP SIGN ON PEDESTRIAN LIGHTS (WITH ANTI-CONSERVATIVE STICKER ON IT) / PEOPLE WALKING ON PROMENADE CLOSE OF STICKER READING (English): "DON'T VOTE TORY" VARIOUS OF SOPHIE GIBSON, BRIGHTON RESIDENT AND REMAIN SUPPORTER HAVING COFFEE WITH A FRIEND (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOPHIE GIBSON, BRIGHTON RESIDENT AND REMAIN SUPPORTER, SAYING: "A lot of people said after the referendum that they felt that they didn't, that they made the wrong decision, that what they did was a protest vote and that has been completely not listened to or not heard and there has been, for some reason, an absolute categoric 'We can't go to vote again' - I'm not quite sure what that is." SOUVENIR SHOP WITH UNION JACK FLAG FLYING BRIGHTON SWEATSHIRT HANGING UP BRIGHTON SWEATSHIRTS AND UNION JACK FLAG SMILEY FACE EMOJI CUSHION HANGING UP CRYING FACE EMOJI CUSHION HANGING UP SAD FACE EMOJI CUSHION HANGING UP (SOUNDBITE) (English) SOPHIE GIBSON, BRIGHTON RESIDENT AND REMAIN SUPPORTER, SAYING: "You know, just as this country was divided around Brexit it feels to me like this country is very divided between people who believe that it is absolutely fine to allow people to live in poverty, to allow people to be using food banks, to allow really really vulnerable people to get further entrenched into their vulnerability and other people who think that is absolutely all right, so I think we are a highly divided society." VARIOUS OF CROWDED STREET SCENE
- Embargoed: 14th June 2017 18:19
- Keywords: Brexit EU referendum election Sunderland Brighton divided Britain
- Location: SUNDERLAND AND BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: SUNDERLAND AND BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J7A98N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PROFANITY IN SHOT 22
Last year's 48-52 percent Brexit referendum result left the country bitterly divided but two English coastal cities at opposite ends of the country and with polar opposite views on EU membership do agree on one thing - that the upcoming June 8 election will do nothing to heal those wounds.
Down-at-heel Sunderland in the northeast and affluent liberal Brighton on the south coast could hardly be more different, but they do share a grumble that the government has let them down and is not listening to their concerns post the referendum.
Sunderland gave the Leave camp its first big unexpected win of the night on June 23 last year.
Its largely older and lower income voters backed getting out of the EU by 61.3 percent.
The once rich industrial mining and ship building city is now struggling following pit closures and lost trade over two decades ago.
Its residents feel abandoned by Westminster.
"They feel very remote from London where the big decisions are made and they look at someone like Theresa May and think: you have not got a clue what we're going through up here," said Ann Stephenson, a Remain voter.
The vote for Brexit meant a vote for change and a chance to 'stick it' to the politicians.
But almost a year on, with Brexit negotiations yet to begin, voters are frustrated and apathetic.
Prime Minister Theresa May called the election arguing she needed a bigger majority to strengthen her hand in negotiations with Brussels.
But locals do not believe another election will bring them any positive change.
"They're just fed up. We need a change. The northeast, not just Sunderland, the northeast needs a change," said Brexit-supporting Conservative voter John Snaith, landlord of the Colliery Tavern - once the haunt of miners when work was plentiful and the mines were going strong.
Fellow 'Leavers' and pub patrons were angry that the snap election has emboldened Remain politicians to campaign on a pro-EU platform, some even calling for a second referendum.
"The people have voted, the people have had their say and they've got to respect it - and just move forward," James Perrozzi said.
Many are disheartened by the slow progress made in the divorce talks with Brussels.
"The election and the aftermath of the election will prove whether Sunderland was right or not," Snaith said, wondering if he made the right choice.
Some 440 miles down south in Brighton, sunny blue skies did not match the bleak mood its residents feel about the upcoming election.
Sixty nine percent voted to stay in the EU. Anti-Conservative party stickers are plentiful around town.
"You know, just as this country was divided around Brexit it feels to me like this country is very divided between people who believe that it is absolutely fine to allow people to live in poverty...and other people who think that is absolutely all right, so I think we are a highly divided society," said Sophie Gibson.
In the days after the shock referendum result, the gay-friendly cosmopolitan city even started a petition saying Britain wanted to leave the U.K.
One stall owner on the bustling North Laine said he feels the Remainers views are not taken into account at all - but neither are the Leavers.
"I am not sure anyone's voice is being heard, they don't seem to have any kind of plan, do they?," asked Mark Hazelwood.
No one believes the upcoming election will bring any change in politics, with some expressing dismay at May's bullish attitude to Brussels.
The election provides much fodder for anti-capitalist buskers "Fat Bollard."
"I think I'm being lied to. Why suddenly call a snap election when you said you wouldn't call a snap election. Maybe there is something going on with the millionaires and billionaires that we don't know about as normal people," said band member Patrick as the band's dog howled along, if not with approval for politics, at least for the music.
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