‘We are going to strike up a fantastic deal with Europe now...’

Steven Leigh, Head of Policy and Representation at the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Steven Leigh, Head of Policy and Representation at the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

A Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce boss has said people complaining about Brexit should “roll up their sleeves and work for the common good”.

Steven Leigh, head of policy for the organisation that supports businesses in Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale, believes that the UK will get a “fantastic” deal when it leaves the EU.

He said: “We’ve got to keep focused that for the next two years we’re still going to be in the EU. People who are expecting things to happen quickly are going to be disappointed.

“The government have done everything that they can to process this in an orderly manner.”

Mr Leigh said that in Yorkshire and the Humber the mandate for Brexit was 58 per cent to 42 per cent in the referendum.

He said: “It was absolutely emphatic. If that was a General Election it would be a landslide.

“There’s a very strong feeling that they’ve got to get on with it. All this debate is wasting energy.

He added: “It will pass through the Commons and we will invoke Article 50.”

The Euro is a currency which many analysts believe will ultimately fail, said Mr Leigh.

And he said that free movement of EU citizens is becoming a “progressively worrying issue” because with unemployment in Greece and Spain standing at unprecedented levels, many prospective workers are migrating to countries where there are more opportunities.

This in turn makes it harder for town planners to adequately provide for future housing, hospitals, schools and other services, he said.

Though he said that he is concerned about workers rights, he also called for people to put their trust in those making the Brexit deal.

“I absolutely refuse these sort of scare tactics. We heard them before the referendum and they are continuing.

“People will say, ‘doesn’t it mean that we won’t be able to employ from abroad?’ Of course it doesn’t. They do down the intelligence of the people down in government.

“We’re going to get a fantastic deal. They’ve [the EU] got far more to lose than we have. They buy more from us than we do from them.

“Instead of spending time finding the next thing to argue about, why don’t they [people who do not want Brexit] roll up their sleeves and work for the common good like many who didn’t vote for Brexit, and get over it?”