“It’s not that I don’t agree with Brexit. The question again is, what is Brexit?” In one pithy remark, Kelly Matthews summed up the mood in Birmingham, as the UK’s exit from the EU next year looms larger than ever.
With just 264 days to go until what Brexiteers dub “Independence Day”, there is a palpable sense of unease among the public in Britain’s second city, and in the wider region beyond.
The West Midlands saw the highest ‘Leave’ vote of the entire country in the EU referendum two years ago. On the back of a huge turnout, a massive 59.3% wanted to cut ties with Brussels for good. Some 29 out of its 30 separate areas backed Brexit.
Yet with local manufacturers like Jaguar LandRover warning this week of possible job losses if Theresa May gets the wrong kind of Brexit deal, uncertainty abounds.
The HuffPost Listens to Birmingham project has revealed that many local people, no matter which way they voted in 2016, are united by a sense of frustration at the lack of clarity on what comes next.