Mark Casci: The vote has been cast, now is the time for cool heads

Britain has decided
Britain has decided
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“The sun will still come up tomorrow and businesses will continue to do business.”

These were the calm and measured words one of the region’s business leaders said to me on Friday.

Amid all of the anger and vitriol spewed from voters and politicians alike following the victory for Brexit, it was the business community who appeared to have the cooler heads, a state of being that has continued on into this week.

We cannot undo the result, no matter how much many of us may have disagreed with it.

And it is clear that despite the massive challenges they face, company bosses are wise to this fact.

The playing field has changed for British commerce and in the coming weeks and months we must make sure that the rules of the game meet our needs and aspirations as a region and a country.

I am not minimising for a second the difficulties this move is going to create for many of our companies here in Yorkshire.

As I type shares in our biggest PLC Persimmon are in a really bad place, along with those of all of their house-building competitors.

Banks are losing money by the second with Barclays even forced into the horrific position of having to temporarily suspend trading briefly as their shares tumbled.

Both of these sectors are crucial to the UK economy.

But from the earthquake of Brexit it cannot be denied there are potential avenues of opportunity.

The potential of large-scale investments in Yorkshire from the likes of China and India are still viable, even more so once the trade deals are ironed out.

Yorkshire and British goods still carry with them a premium value, with their quality renowned throughout the world.

With our nation divided along political lines it is more important than ever that our capacity as a commercial sector is undiminished and that we come together to ensure what we need as a region is realised.

Top of this list is the plans for the Northern Powerhouse and increased devolution.

While it is untenable for him to remain in post once David Cameron departs in September, George Osborne must unwaveringly commit to the project, as must his successor, whoever that may be.

It would be all to easy for the Treasury to claim that the negotiations for new trade deals are their priority with other projects to be placed on the back-burner or, even worse, kicked into the long grass.

This would be unacceptable. They have pledged their support for the North and we will not allow them to turn their backs on the project due to altered political circumstances.

Second of all, the process for us exiting the European Union.

While the political classes were losing their heads on Friday I was told by everyone from company bosses to stockbrokers that the key initial move now for Government was to delay invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to buy us time to come up with a plan that allows us to take our nation forward.

The rumblings from Brussels are that they want the process underway as soon as possible -tough.

We are not going to be rushed out the door on this one, nor should we allow ourselves to be made an example of by Brussels wary of other member states following in our footsteps.

I, like 48 per cent of the country, wanted to remain and I am as disappointed as the next man at the result.

But I will not allow myself to rush to ring the alarm bell any more than I will stop considering myself a European.

I never told you how to vote and I respect your decision.

The ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ mantra has been doing the rounds since the early hours of Friday morning.

It is a cliché that has helped inform our national character for decades. We need to adhere to it now more than ever.