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‘We’ve Got One Shot’: Warnings Unheeded in Brexit’s Northern Heartland

Voters in one of the first places to declare in Britain’s upcoming EU referendum worry about immigration and sovereignty.

When Nissan Motor Co. threw England’s northeast an economic lifeline and started producing cars in Sunderland in 1986, the Japanese carmaker was drawn by a pool of cheap, skilled and available workers with access to European Union markets.

Thirty years later, this city originally built on shipbuilding and coal mining is a bellwether for how much people want to leave the world’s largest trading bloc rather than embrace it. Alienated by politics five hours drive south in London, Sunderland and places like it will determine the outcome of the June 23 Brexit referendum.