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Brexit makes England even more divided

The locals laugh laughably at their sight, because they fondly remember what once stood there before the deal – a famous Yale lock factory.

"If you have to put it on the wall, Willenhall is not wonderful – you don't have to convince yourself," says Roger Wilcox, a local resident, with a joke.

This small town is about 15 miles northwest of Birmingham in England's "Black Country", an area some say was named after the smoke from the explosion of factories, mines and mills here during the Industrial Revolution.

It was then in the heart of the country's lock industry, which required skills that went down through generations and employed thousands of people.

But there is no longer. British locks decreased in the late 1

980s when it became cheaper to import from abroad, and many companies were closed.

  Willenhall lock industry declined in the 1980s in the midst of the recession and competition from cheaper foreign imports

deny relatives who are difficult in the region, which means that the many skills population had superfluous overnight and stalled Willenhall's growth.

"Almost every day you would see a machine on a lorry truck that left the city and you would think" it has been sold to India, it has been sold to China "and of course also the jobs, Säger Wilcox.

Willenhall, located in Walsall's metropolitan area, is now among the weakest areas in England, with poorer health and higher unemployment than other areas in the country, and the area also voted 67.9% to leave the European Union in the UK's 2016 referendum.
Walsall North, Willenhall's constituency also contributed to the most recent signatures in the constituencies of the revocation of the Article 50 petition in March 2019 and urged the United Kingdom to remain in the EU.

This petition was so popular that it repeatedly broke on the UK Parliament's website and did headlines to attract more than 6 million signatures.

Only 1,900 inhabitants from Walsall North signed the petition meda n Southwestern city of Bristol – which voted 61.7% to remain in the EU – sat at the opposite end of the scale. More than 37,000 people from the Bristol West constituency demanded that Brexit be suspended.

The attempt failed, but these signatures – or lack thereof – tell of a difference between two England that existed long before the Brexit vote but arose in

Brexit "crystallized" England's division

Many people now see themselves like Leavers or Remainers, and this is the "Brexit identity" that has cemented age limits across the UK – in class, age, values ​​and geography.
Will Jennings, professor of political science and public policy at the University of Southampton, say that these divisions are more important than ever. Partly because London still dominates Britain, but post-industrial cities – many of them in the Midlands and the North – have struggled to adapt to long-term economic and demographic decline.

The great difference that we see between nuclear cities and smaller cities is the great difference between the population age, says Jennings, who has spent five years studying how the UK's economic model favors its cities across its cities.

Over the past 30 years, English cities have aged, while cities like Bristol have become younger and younger. And by losing important business, cities like Willenhall have lost a lot of jobs. The number of people with professional qualifications and skills has stagnated as the young move to cities.

Brexit has "crystallized" the division of England, Jennings told CNN, who burned "a violence policy or cultural setback … because the people of different parts of the same country … are increasingly diverging views."

"The country that time forgot "

Wilcox, who worked as a police officer in Willenhall for 30 years, believes that the city voted so heavily to leave the EU, because the locals believe that it is" the country that time forgot ".

He said residents here often feel that they are the last – if not at all – to be considered or consulted during political change. For them, the future feels like something that happens elsewhere.

"I think the Black Country and West Midlands have long been behind the curve. I remember my wife saying when she was working in London in Oxford Street that if a rope was sent to the West Midlands, it was considered a criminal record."

Mike Batchelor, a project manager at a local charity shop and consulting center, Bridging the Gap, now told the locals Willenhall a dormitory "- a place with no major industries where people travel to larger cities nearby for work.

It began to feel When the factories were closed down after the recession in the late 1980s, he reflected.

"First, people were able to transfer from one engineering industry to another because of transferable skills, but more and more factories were closed down and manufacturing changed or went abroad. .. the practical skills were no longer needed, "Batchelor said.

" The area itself began to feel depressed – in only individuals, but for the whole society changed

  Mike Batchelor is the project manager at the charity shop and the Bridging the Gap advisory center.

Batchelor remembers how the main street used to be lively in the 1960s, when factory workers – who all lived locally – would pour out on the street and into the street. "You have to weave yourself in and out of people," he reminds.

The market is still moving, on a smaller scale, only a few original stores remain on the main street. Some new stores have opened, but many others are advertised as "to sound." Willenhall's police station, train station and post office have also been closed.

"It's the little things the city has lost its status," Wilcox said. "We have lost significant parts of our identity."

The loss of something that a railway station greatly inhibits economic opportunity. "What we see is that geography and connectivity are more important than ever in the global community," Jennings said. "Where you are and how you are connected to things is both important for financial opportunity but also important when it comes to support services."

As a result, younger people, including Batchelor's children, have moved to cities for better opportunities and "do not tend to come back."

This anecdote is clearly illustrated in Willenhall's demographic statistics. It has been a 32% decrease in those who are 24 or younger and a 45% increase in those over 65 in the last 30 years, and this is just one example of what happens to cities across the country.

12 seperate cities are sewn together "

Meanwhile, cities become younger and more versatile, with a population of about 460,000, Bristol has become the second most popular city in southern England and declared the best place to live in the UK 2017 by The Sunday Times.

"What you have is a cocktail of things (in Bristol)," Mayor Marvin Rees told CNN. "It's a city that continues to be international, a world-class university, a thriving creative sector that grew . "

During a short drive from the central station, it becomes clear how eclectic the city is – with different districts, each with its own distinct character. There is a shopping district, a converted harbor, lush Clifton with exclusive shops and beautiful Georgian homes. , and Stokes Croft, with a living artist community and walls on the walls of street art.

"Bristol is an interesting place. It is almost 12 completely separate cities all of which have been sewn together, "said local Sam Hickmott, who is also part of the political group for EU policy Bristol for Europe.

  Overlooking the city of Bristol and Clifton Suspension Bridge. [19659043] Overlooking the city of Bristol and Clifton Suspension Bridge.
It has become attractive to not only international immigrants, but it also has the highest net internal migration in the UK.

"There is a steamboat ending here. The more exciting and innovative and creative and versatile city gets it attracts the people who are drawn to it and they invest in it and they grow it, "said Rees. 19659015] A microcosm of England

While there is much positive about Bristol in how the economy flourishes, it is also a city suffering from inequality.

"There are parts of the city that are very tied to the center and there are peripheral parts of Bristol … which exhibit the same kind of dynamics [as towns] at a micro level "Jennings said.

Just five miles south of downtown Bristol, Hartcliffe, a suburban community of public housing, suffers from the city's largest levels of deprivation, and voted to leave the EU, where men will die. on average 10 years earlier than in the district of Hotwells near the city center, young people are also much less likely to move on to higher education.

This inequality is something Bristols b

"When a young child grew up in Bristol, there were periods when I felt rather hopeless, as if I was looking at all this prosperity and opportunity and it was not for me, Rees will remember. "I've lived in Bristol's bridge in many ways and yet this is a city that … so finally voted for me to become mayor."

  Marvin Rees is the first variety of African-Caribbean descent as mayor to be