There’s a faded grandeur to the small town of Matlock in England’s Midlands.
Nestled at the bottom of a limestone gorge, the streets are lined with chocolate box houses and antique furniture shops.The town may appear sleepy, but the people of Matlock are anything but; they’re politically engaged and alert to the machinations of Westminster, 140 miles away.
- Their constituency, the Derbyshire Dales, had a turnout of 82% in the Brexit referendum, one of the highest recorded across the country. And, like all the constituencies of Derbyshire, it voted to leave the European Union.At the local pub, The Remarkable Hare, I met David Thorpe — a staunch leaver who hopes the Brexit deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU is voted down next week.Read More”We should get a clean Brexit, we voted for out,” he said. “We didn’t vote for a little bit of out and a little bit of in.”It’s a sentiment echoed by many of the locals in the town whom CNN spoke to.May started her campaign in Parliament this week, hoping to persuade MPs to vote through her deal next week.It’s a deal criticized from both sides of the Brexit divide — for different reasons.Even the Prime Minister appears to recognize this, when she spoke to parliament: “We should not let the search for the perfect Brexit or prevent a good Brexit that delivers for the British people.”Some Remainers would like a closer alignment with the EU than the deal outlines, or even another vote.
‘Balderdash sums up Brexit best’
For Brexiters, like those in Matlock’s pub, it fails to bring back sovereignty to Britain. It keeps the UK in the Customs Union with the EU, potentially for years, without giving it a say in how the bloc is run.One man CNN asked about this deal simply pointed towards a collection of board games, saying “Balderdash” sums it up best.In a show of hands, during our very unofficial Brexit poll, most of the locals in this pub said they want parliament to reject it.They argued that it leaves the UK beholden to Brussels, and that’s quite simply not what they say they voted for.
The future of Brexit remains uncertain
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The future of Brexit remains uncertain 02:42At the Riverbank House bed and breakfast, owner Jennie Newberry said she would rather the UK left the bloc without a deal at all.”I think it will be really hard over the next few years,” she said. “But we voted to come out, we need to come out, and if we have to walk away with nothing, well that’s better than what we have on the table right now.”
Brexit a divisive topic even now
However, despite meeting mostly Leavers, like the rest of the country, Matlock is divided. Brexit legal advice warns UK could be trapped in endless negotiationsGarden designer Emma Harpham voted to remain in the EU, and said she was shocked when the results came in.”I cried all the way into school that morning.”In the back of the car she tried to explain to her children, six and seven years old, why she was so upset. “Explaining the complexities of Brexit to children isn’t easy, so I said: ‘We are in this club at the minute and I think it’s a good club, but unfortunately lots of people don’t agree, and now we have to leave, and it takes away your options when you’re older.'”Brexit remains divisive even now in Matlock.Reports of Theresa May's demise may no longer be exaggerated
- The owner of The Remarkable Hare pub, Simon Dormand, said that on occasion Brexit discussions have become so heated, he’s had to call time on the topic at the bar.”I’ve had to say we’re not going to talk about it anymore. As an individual I won’t air my opinions on Brexit, I don’t want to alienate half of my customers.”