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A Leave-voting artist created Brexit cartoons. His friends cut him off

Cartoonist Michael Lightfoot campaigned to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum.

That may not have been such a problem in a Leave-leaning area, but Mr Lightfoot lives in Brighton, where about 70% of people voted for Remain.

It is as Remain as it gets.

Image: Michael Lightfoot’s group, Artists for Brexit, didn’t go down well with his friends

Mr Lightfoot said: “I’ve lost so many friends over it, it’s been terrible.”

He started a group called Artists for Brexit – a way of expressing his views about the referendum – but it did not go down well with his friends.

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“You know it’s bad when they unfriend you from Facebook and things like that,” he said.

“People are very, very intolerant of the Brexit theme here. Unfortunately, it has an impact on you. It’s been a disaster.

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“The silly thing is, I can see pros and cons for Brexit and Remain.

“Hopefully Brexit is going to be a success. Hopefully it is going to make things better in the country overall, especially for people that are disadvantaged. That’s what we’ve got to achieve, otherwise it won’t have been worth it.”

Image: Michael Lightfoot started the group Artists for Brexit

Mr Lightfoot is not alone.

Sebastian Handley has spent the last four years campaigning for Brexit in Brighton.

He said: “It’s pretty lonely, it’s affected my health, my career.

“It’s been tough for my wife. I’ve been just manic campaigning for the last four years.

“People start arguments on Facebook and the internet, you’re up all night, you can’t sleep. The whole thing is like being in a vast psychological war on a national scale.

“I had to come out and campaign. Gay rights have progressed because gays had the courage to come out and campaign and not be silenced.

“If we had let ourselves be silenced we would have invited defeat upon ourselves.”

Image: Sebastian Handley said it was ‘lonely’ campaigning for Brexit in Brighton

Some 200 miles away in Boston, Lincolnshire, they are preparing to celebrate Brexit.

This quiet market town recorded the highest vote for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

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To understand why Boston voted in the way it did, you have to understand who lives and works here.

Boston has the highest proportion of Eastern Europeans migrants than any other part of the UK.

It led to Boston being labelled a divided town.

Image: Andy Izard, from Boston, led the Brexit More In Common group

Some here are trying to put Brexit behind them.

That led to a group being formed called Brexit More In Common, led by retired train driver Andy Izard.

He said: “We wanted to get the Lithuanians and the Kurds and the Latvians together to show them that they can have a place in this town. Immigration is not a bad thing, it just needs the government to recognise that we need money for dentist, doctors and schools.

“If we don’t get help and support from the central government. Then we still will have these issues in five years’ time.”

Image: Vijoleta Klova, from Latvia, said she was worried about Brexit at first

Vijoleta Klova, originally from Latvia, is a supervisor at a flower farm in Boston and has two children.

She said: “I like the UK because the pay is better and I am comfortable here.

“At first Brexit worried me. But I feel okay about it now. I think it will be a bit rough to start off with, but things will settle down. I can see myself living here for many years to come.”

Brexit Night Live: Watch and follow the moment Britain exits the EU with a special programme from 9pm tonight

SOURCE : https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-the-artist-who-lost-friends-because-of-his-cartoons-about-the-eu-referendum-11922186

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