What’s happening? Locals in UK unaware of Brexit changes

Four years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Brexit can still seem abstract. But in the county known as the Garden of England, it is literally taking concrete form.

Just beyond the ancient oaks and yews that surround medieval St. Mary's Church in the village of Sevington, bulldozers, dump trucks and cement mixers swarm noisily over a field.

They are chewing up land to create part of Britain's new border with the European Union - a customs clearance depot with room for up to 2,000 trucks.

No one asked local people for permission, and even in this Brexit-backing area, the disruption is straining support for the UK's rupture with the EU.

"The first anyone knew about it was when a sign went up saying the footpaths had been closed," said Sharon Swandale, whose home in the village of Mersham used to be a 20-minute walk from Sevington. Closure of the path for construction work means it's now an almost 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) drive.

This county, Kent, voted by 60%-40% to leave the EU in Britain's 2016 referendum, but Swandale said visions of truck stops and customs depots were not uppermost in their minds.

"That was never part of the actual selling and the marketing for Brexit," she said.

The two prosperous villages of Sevington and Mersham are 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Channel Tunnel to France and 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Britain's biggest ferry port at Dover.

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Free Press Journal