The EU referendum has split the country in half says Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman.

The Kirklees result echoed the national mood, with 54.7% of the 118,755 votes, the highest turnout since 1992, in favour of coming out.

Mr Sheerman said: “I’m shocked to the core.

“Our country is totally divided. A seismic shift is going on in politics and there are some real problems out there.

“My feeling is that Huddersfield voted remain but the other parts of Kirklees pushed us to a leave vote.

“We ran a really good remain campaign here.

“We have got to make the best of it although I am worried about the impact on local businesses and the university.

“The leadership from both the leader of the Government and the opposition needs to be intelligently discussed.

Regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s future as Labour Party leader, he said: “I don’t like knee jerk reactions.

“The Parliamentary Labour Party need to meet to discuss how well led the campaign was and see who has responsibility.”

Jason McCartney, Conservative MP for Colne Valley, campaigned to leave.

Jason McCartney

“It’s been really clear that people back leaving so now I just really hope that everyone can respect that decision”, he said.

“I will be working hard to bring people from both sides together and we need a period of calm.

“I think there will be many people who voted leave who want to do the right thing so I would like to tell people who voted remain not to worry.

“I’ve had business people who trade with other parts of the world saying it’s the right decision.

“There’s a whole world out there and there will be many opportunities for us.

See how Yorkshire voted in this video

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“I’m disappointed that David Cameron has resigned – I was one of the signatories on the letter sent to him urging him to stay regardless of the result.

“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved under his leadership such as apprenticeships and the living wage.”

Conversely, fellow Conservative MP for Calder Valley, Craig Whittaker, wanted Britain to remain.

Craig Whittaker MP

He said: “The British people have spoken and we have to make sure we deliver on they’ve mandated us to do.

“I campaigned for remain because I thought that this referendum was not about my generation but my children’s and great grandchildren’s.

“I believed the benefits of being in the EU far outweighed coming out.

“I was a little shocked that David Cameron resigned so quickly but due to the FTSE plummeting I think it’s in the best interesting of stabilising the financial sector and the economy.”

The Kirklees Council area has received at least £20m from the EU over the past 10 years.

Labour leader Clr Shabir Pandor: “I’m devastated."

Clr Shabir Pandor

He said: "We already had sovereignty and democracy as we elected our MEPs every four years. The impact on Kirklees will be massive.

“A lot of our jobs depend on Europe and we got a lot more back than we put in, such as help from the European Social Fund which was building infrastructure and more jobs in our area.

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“It’s not going to be as easy as following the Norway model and I don’t think we’ll be as secure from outside.”

Clr David Hall, leader of Kirklees Conservatives, said: “We’ve now got a lot to do in the country both in terms of acting upon the result and pulling the country together."

Clr David Hall
Clr David Hall

“I voted leave due to the issue of sovereignty but I do feel that both national campaigns were poorly led.

“For the local economy I think we can expect short term ruptures but hopefully these won’t be permanent.”

Andrew Cooper, leader of Kirklees Green Party, said: “I always knew that the Kirklees vote would be tight although I hoped for a better result."

Clr Andrew Cooper

“It’s too early to tell what the local economic impact will be.

“I’ve been disappointed by both campaigns that have both been led by the Conservatives. I’m concerned we’re led by a Government which only 25% of the population voted for.

“The EU has been the guarantor of a whole host of rights and protecting the environment.

“We’ve got to work hard to get a plan together to make sure these policies are high up on the national agenda as they are important things for our country.”

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Nicola Turner, Leader of Kirklees Liberal Democrats, said: “I’m in shock but I thought that the local result would be worse."

Clr Nicola Turner, leader of the Kirklees Liberal Democrat group

“The last thing we need though is squabbling between parties. People retreated into sound bites which undermined the experts.

“If we stop believing people with knowledge then who do we start to believe, Farage?

“This could quite easily be a massive catastrophe – everything was getting better in this country.

“All this talk about using EU money for the NHS is not going to happen, especially if we go into another recession.

“To those who are saying we can rule the world again – we are a little island and we need to realise that we’re not important as we once were.

“We have a big global economy now and I’m worried about the consequences of trade agreements we will be making with other, much bigger countries like China.

“All the work we will now have to do will distract us from the every day politics that matter so much.”

Time Line

Kirklees leaders react to the EU referendum vote

  1. Huddersfield Giants chairman Ken Davy

    "This is the day this great nation voted to take back control of its destiny.

    "I am obviously delighted by the result and I think that in the context of history, future generations will hail the 23rd of June, 2016, as the day this great nation voted to take back control of its destiny.

    “Obviously, we will have some months of uncertainty. However, I suspect it will be much less disruptive that the kind of predictions made by the Remain camp during the campaign.

    “A lower pound will provide a timely boost for exporters which I would expect to feed through into the economy in terms of jobs and prosperity.”

  2. Steve Bradley, of Lockwood-based Pennine Business Partners

    “Like most ‘remainers’ I am surprised by the result and I suspect quite a few ‘leavers’ are too.

    “Aside from what happens next and the impact of the decision its clear that pollsters and bookies are losing touch with the electorate and predicting results is harder. Even as the polls closed leave was massively odds against and the city was relatively buoyant.

    “No-one really knows how the transition will pan out and what the impact will be on businesses and individuals and that uncertainty is a concern – particularly for my teenage daughters who are at the very start of their careers.

    “However, I firmly believe that as a nation we have to get behind the decision and make the best of it for all of Britain.

    “Despite the conciliatory tones overnight, it was a dirty fight and is likely to leave party political voids. My fear is the gaps will be filled by politicians with more extreme views.”

  3. Amanda Vigar, of accountancy firm V&A Bell Brown, Holmfirth

    "I am shocked – in a positive way – that it has gone the way it has. It’s the right answer for the country, but I really didn’t think it would go the right way. I was predicting 52%-48% the other way.

    “It isn’t going to be an easy process, but I think the whole country has to knuckle down and get on with it. We are not putting the shutters up on the world or Europe, we just need to get on and do good trade deals with the rest of the world. By doing that, the economy in the medium term will start to see the benefit.”

  4. Brian Stahelin, managing director of Chapel Hill-based recruitment firm Stafflex

    “It is a shame that such a monumental decision is made with 28% of the population absent from the vote.

    "The Leave team have triumphed with what is a marginal majority. I fear that the vote has been swung by older people and those who are fed up with limited party politics rather than having researched and examined the real issues. Most younger people that I know are dismayed.

    “I am not ashamed to declare that I voted ‘in’ because the UK is a far better place now than it was in my childhood. Much of our manufacturing, service, and financial industries are so integrated with Europe that if people left within the EU react badly to the UK decision to leave, we may encounter severe economic problems.

    “My best hope is that the victors do not lord it over the ‘remain’ people and that the exit is negotiated and managed responsibly.”

  5. John Cotton, chairman of Mirfield-based textile company John Cotton

    “I’m feeling a total lack of confidence right now.

    “The problem is that we don’t know what we are letting ourselves in for.

    “There’s massive insecurity around all the things that we have taken for granted for so long. Our jobs, the exchange rates, our financial security, our safety, all these things are completely up in the air.”

  6. Steven Leigh, head of policy at the Huddersfield-based Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

    “It’s further proof that the pollsters might as well shut up shop and go home.

    “Business people never believed the scare stories being told because they were just not true. I was an exporter and went all over the world and it was easy to sell. Business takes no account of boundaries or whether we are in the EU or not. If people have something they want to sell they will find a way to do it.”

    “We will need some stability in the next month or two. George Osborne is a dead man walking, but he is still chancellor and he has to work with the Governor of the Bank of England to take action to steady the ship.”

  7. Chris Wood, partner at Cleckheaton-based Clough Corporate Solutions and Yorkshire committee member with insolvency trade body R3

    “Leaving the EU will have a major impact on the way corporate insolvency works in the UK.

    "The UK’s insolvency regime does not exist in a vacuum. It is entwined with rules on employment, tax, property, and more and all of these are linked with European rules.”