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Stratford-upon-Avon: The 52:48 referendum town as divided as ever

Stratford-upon-Avon is best known for someone born there centuries ago, but as well as being Shakespeare country, it is also particularly relevant to the Brexit debate today.

This middle England town depends on foreign money from tourists and yet voted 52 to 48 per cent in the EU referendum - the same split as the overall vote.

Brexit may be formally underway, but Stratford - much like the rest of the country - remains divided over whether leaving the EU is a good idea.

At the local bridge club, they know all too well about the importance of a good hand for their game and the country.

The local bridge club in Stratford-upon-Avon, where players are still divided over Brexit.

"When Cameron went out he had an unbelievably strong hand in his team but he underplayed it," said Leave supporter Richard Shimmin.

"The EU was frightened of the domino effect and he came back with very, very little. I think anyone around here could do a better job than Cameron negotiating, so I have every confidence in David Davis and everybody else."

But Remain supporters are still unconvinced.

Findlay Caldwell said: "I fear now that we've got a timescale against us (and) we're in a much, much weaker bargaining position and in terms of trade the EU are unlikely to give us anywhere near as good a deal as we've currently got."

Hungarian barber Ervin Bogor has lived in Stratford for 11 years.

Stratford is 93% white-British. Hungarian barber Ervin Bogor has been in the town 11 years and welcomes Theresa May's promise to seek clarity on the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK.

"I don't think it's going to affect people like me who have been here for many, many years and working hard," he said.

But what of the younger generation?

Students at Stratford-upon-Avon College have mixed views over Brexit.

Stratford-upon-Avon College has students from across the EU. Sindi Skrabane was born in Latvia but dislikes the mood since the referendum.

"It feels like they want to just be the British and everyone else has to go away," she said. "I don't know if I'd want to build my own family here."

Among her classmates, including those from immigrant families, there is a belief that governance must be brought back from Europe.

"No one voted for them but they're in charge. It sort of seems very undemocratic to me and doesn't make sense," said student Joe Monaghan.

Nine months on from the referendum, there is little evidence that Britons are in agreement over our destination just 24 months from departure.

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