What kind of Brexit do people in the North East want now?

In the Brambles Farm and Thorntree areas of Middlesbrough, more than 80% of voters chose to leave the EU. Photo: ITV News Tyne Tees

The North East was at the forefront of the Brexit vote. Last June, 58 per cent of voters here marked 'leave the European Union' on their ballot papers.

We've heard over and over again in the intervening months that "Brexit means Brexit" - but of course there are a whole load of alternatives as to what it could actually mean for all of us.

So, as the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 that allows formal negotiations to begin, what kind of Brexit did people here vote for? What about those on the Remain side - what's the least worst option for them?

The Brambles Farm and Thorntree area of Middlesbrough is thought to be the most pro-Brexit place in the country - 82.5 per cent voted to leave the EU.

It's one of the most deprived parts of the North East - unemployment is high, qualification levels low.

Many voted the way they did because, perhaps, they felt forgotten, or that there was little to lose; certainly, Brexit was worth a go.

Last summer they had their voices heard, for the first time in a long time, many believe.

What several residents told me they want now is "a say in who comes into the country." There are a high number of asylum seekers in neighbouring areas of the town, and it's created some resentment. Limiting immigration is high on their priority list.

The Union Jack flies on the Brambles Farm estate in Middlesbrough.

There's also talk about creating more local jobs - and the need to keep trading closely with Europe to achieve that.

But generally views seems to fall towards the 'hard' end of Brexit.

With one man's demand to stop contributing to EU budgets, the suggestion that money "could be buying hospitals" instead hints at the enduring power of that infamous '£350m' Vote Leave battle bus.

Some people can't afford to ignore Brexit and its permutations.

A majority in the business community came down on the Remain side, and as such it's a 'soft Brexit' they're hoping for.

Car component firm Nifco UK employs 650 people in Eaglescliffe. It's part of the Nissan supply chain; at least three-quarters of the vehicles its parts go into are exported to the continent.

Nifco UK specialises in the manufacture of plastic components for cars.

Managing Director Mike Matthews says the UK negotiators must make "a good trade deal" their "number one" aim.

He says tariffs on imports and exports must be avoided, that costs will inevitably increase, and "if markets shrink as a consequence of Brexit, we'll have to consider our investment."

While the focus right now is on efficiency savings rather than redundancies, it's certainly fair to say their Japanese parent company are keeping a very close eye on the terms of Brexit.

In Newcastle, we met a family who are very much considering their futures.

Armelle Tardiveau, who is French, and her husband Daniel Mallo, who's Spanish, are both lecturers in architecture at Newcastle University.

They've been in the UK for nine years. Their son, Elias, was born in Spain; their daughter Ines was born here.

They are now fearful about their right to permanent residency.

They described the process as "unsettling", and called for "clarity" from the government now.

Armelle and Daniel feel they shouldn't have to apply to continue living in the UK.

The rights of EU nationals are likely to be among the first things on the agenda for negotiators, but the list is long - and some goals appear to be mutually exclusive.

The next two years will see how many get their wishes, as Brexit truly takes shape.

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