The only way is Brexit?

Hilary Clarke asks Romford, an Essex town full of Leavers, if it is having any second thoughts

The World Today
4 minute READ

Hilary Clarke

Essex-born independent journalist and TV producer 

The east London town of Romford is used to stereotypes. For many years it was one of the last outposts for the capital’s white working class. It was here that people moved from the East End to escape the damage of the Second World War in search of a house with a garden.

In the Eighties it became synonymous with the ‘Essex Man’ whom Margaret Thatcher had won over, the self-employed ‘man with a van’ and home of a famous dog racing track. Last year, Romford gained another distinction. It became the holder of the unofficial title of ‘Brexit Central’, after 69.7 per cent of the London Borough of Havering where it lies voted to leave the European Union.

A year on, with the triumph of Donald Trump in America and with a general election in the UK, and the realization that leaving the EU might not be as straight-forward as it first appeared, it seemed a good place to visit to see if Brexit voters were beginning to have regrets.

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