Why I’ll be campaigning in Sunderland on March 29th

Aerial view of the mouth of the River Wear in Sunderland. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA.

Aerial view of the mouth of the River Wear in Sunderland. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Young anti-Brexit campaigner AAISHA HAQUE will be campaigning in Leave-voting Sunderland on the day that the United Kingdom was meant to be leaving the Euroepan Union.

The 29th of March has become a symbolic date for the people of Britain. For some it was to be a day to celebrate independence and for others, a day to grieve opportunities lost.

While those who wish to leave will spend the 29th March outside parliament, I will be campaigning in Sunderland, the most surprising constituency to vote leave, for the right to have a say in my future.

For many in my region, a region that's been left severely underfunded and neglected since the financial crisis, the vote to leave was a cry for help. We were heard in what seems like the first time in forever, and yet we will fall victim to even further financial difficulty after a disastrous Brexit.

Much of Sunderland's economy is reliant on the EU and funding from bodies outside of the UK. We depend on companies like Nissan, the largest employer in Sunderland, and the cancellation of the production of the new model in Sunderland will hit people hard.

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This isn't the Brexit we were promised. It's clear that we will not get a deal better than what we currently have by staying in the EU. Politicians that paint themselves as 'men of the people' will go back to their million pound homes and continue to live off their multi-million pound business, but what about us?

What about those who will suffer from factory closures? Those who will lose out on job opportunities because their passport has suddenly become less powerful? These people do not have the privilege of falling back onto million pound net-worths.

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We should be asked again. What do we really want? We've been heard once - it would be an insult to hurt us without hearing us once more. We deserve for that listening to continue. A damaging Brexit will not please those who wish to leave. We do not want to increase the damage to our area. It's time politicians engage with us again and continue to do so.

Ask us again. And continue to do so: a fair democracy requires engagement between a government and its people, something that this government has failed to do throughout the whole process. So, ask us again. Ask us what we really want as a nation. And listen.

• Aaisha Haque lives in Sunderland, and is an activist at Our Future, Our Choice.

• Our Future, Our Choice will be campaigning in Sunderland on the 29th of March as part of its campaign to visit 100 schools, universities, and further education colleges in 100 days.

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