Manchester Evening News - 'It seems like a big mess' - We went out in Manchester and talked about Brexit

Brexit may receive more airtime than anything else, but does anyone actually have a clue what's going on?

A key parliamentary vote on Theresa May's withdrawal agreement was called off at the last minute on Monday due to a lack of support for the Northern Ireland back-stop.

It caused the pound to plummet, and Labour to put pressure on the Government to call a General Election. But what does it all mean for ordinary people?

We visited two areas of Manchester, Harpurhey, where people predominately voted to leave, and West Didsbury, where the majority voted to remain, on Monday, to get their thoughts on the Brexit negotiations, and to see whether or not their opinion had changed since they cast their vote in June 2016.

Despite an almost inevitable sigh from every person we stopped (people really are sick of talking about Brexit), their views on the issue differed enormously.

We spoke to staunch Remainers and die-hard leave-voters, and people who were still a bit unsure how they felt.

Some wanted another referendum, while others wanted to get it over and done with so we could move on and talk about something else.

And one person we spoke to hadn't even heard of Brexit at all. Here's what they had to say:

Didsbury

Chris Connell, a 21-year-old student at Salford University, voted remain. "It seems like a big mess at the moment", he said.

"No one knows what's going on or what they are doing. I don't know why they are still going through with it. I hate Theresa May, she should resign."

Shanice Hemans, 25, works in a nursery.

She said: "I didn't vote. I was going to vote but by the time I went to register it had closed. I would've voted to stay. That's what my family did. I think what's going on is crazy. I think there should be another referendum. I'd vote to remain."

Jess Gaubert, 33, works in recruitment.

She said: "I voted to stay. My husband is French. He's probably more worried about it than I am. My mum voted to leave but what is being suggested is not what she voted for. I don't feel like anyone is going to benefit at all. I think there should be another vote. A lot of people voted to leave who were really misinformed. I feel like the longer it drags on the worse it's going to get."

Reilly Taylor, 35, owns a dog grooming business, Urban Paw.

Cradling his dog Olive, he said: "I voted to remain. To be honest I think the EU has brought a lot into the country. It's something our generation has taken for granted, we were born into it.

"I feel the whole Brexit campaign was full on falsified. I don't actually think they gave out the real facts. If we end up leaving the EU, it's going to cause a lot of damage anyway. I'm a small business owner, that's a real concern to me. My parents actually voted to leave, they are baby boomers. Now they've basically turned round and said 'actually, we would remain'. Cos even they are now concerned about what the implications would have for them, as being older people."

He believes the public should have another referendum, now they know what Brexit could entail.

June Martin, 68, a therapist who lives in West Didsbury, voted to leave.

She says she's a fan of Theresa May, despite not voting Conservative, and believes she is one of the only honest politicians out there. She said she voted to leave as she felt the country was being ruled by the EU.

She said: "I'm totally sick of listening to it. This back-stop thing, what the hell? They are trying to confuse the man in the street. (Theresa May) is a very strong woman. I think she'd do what she thinks is right. She's the woman to take us through. I have faith in her more than anybody else."

Harpurhey

Frank Labaitis lives in Chadderton and works for social services in Manchester. He said he voted to leave in the referendum.

When asked why he voted the way he did, he said: "To quote Nigel Farage, to take back control of the borders."

He believes we should leave on WTO terms, which means without a deal.

The 57-year-old said: "I want to leave completely, so obviously I don't agree with Theresa May's deal. I'd rather go to WTO rules so we completely take control of everything in our country. I'd be disappointed (if there was another referendum) - unless the referendum was to leave on Theresa May's deal or to leave completely with no deal. So if there is another referendum, that should be the choice."

Summing up the negotiations so far he said: "It's been a complete and utter mess. It shouldn't have been Theresa May in the first place, with her being a remainer. But I think we should've gone into it a little bit more forcefully with the EU and said 'this is what we want, now let's see where we go from there."

Another Brexit voter, a woman in her 70s, who didn't want to be named, said she said she was baffled by what was going on and thinks we should just leave quickly and make a clean break of it. "I just don’t understand it. Why can’t we go in and out again? To me it’s quite simple. I would vote the same again", she said.

Joseph Deliaga, 57, who lives in Harpurhey, works in a warehouse.

He moved over from Hungary five years ago. He said he didn't vote but if he did, he would have voted to leave the EU. He said: "Some people come over from the EU and don't contribute, it's not fair."

Keith Mills, 66, is a retired policeman who lives in Blackley.

He said he voted to leave due to what he sees as high levels of immigration, which means people struggle to get a doctor's appointment, or a place in schools due to overcrowding. Although he feels some immigration is good for the country. If he could vote again, he would vote to remain following the fall-out since the vote. He said it would be the best decision for his 'children and grandchildren'.

Lee Corcoran, 31, works at Cash Generator in the Harpurhey shopping precinct. "I just don't really follow it" he said during his fag break.

"Theresa May says one thing and then she contradicts herself. I've not really been following it in the news, it just needs to be over and done with. I'm so over it to be honest."

June Carter, is a 52-year-old carer.

She said she voted to leave but feels like the UK is pandering to the EU in the negotiation talks. She said: "We've got to pussy foot around them to keep them happy."

Barrie Marsland, 26, is a self-employed builder and father-of three, who lives in Moston.

He voted remain. But ever since the referendum, he's lost hope in the Government and has tried to ignore what's going on. He said: "I have walked away. We need something like what's happened in France over here. I think a second referendum should be put forward."

When we asked another woman what she thought of Brexit, she replied 'what's that?'. When we explained what was happening, she replied that she didn't follow the news and had never heard of it.

 

Credit: Manchester Evening News website