Harrogate Vote Remain campaigners in 'despair' over country's future after Brexit

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Vote Remain campaigners in Harrogate say they are in 'despair and extremely fearful' of the political future after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU last week.

Harrogate, York and Leeds were the only three places in Yorkshire where the majority voted to stay in the EU while the rest of the region were in favour of a Leave vote.

But the margin in Harrogate was still narrow with 48,211 residents voting to remain - 51% - and 46,374 voting to leave - 49% - with a total of 94,653 votes cast.

The result for the Harrogate Borough came in just after 4am on Friday, June 23 two hours before the national result was finalised.

John Harris, Vote Remain campaign for Harrogate and Knaresborough, said that he was delighted Harrogate voted to stay in the EU but said the overall result had left the country in a ‘shambles’.

He said: “I was delighted that Harrogate voted to remain in although I was naturally disappointed that the majority was not much greater in terms of the overall result.

“I was overcome with disappointment with the overall vote. All the things which were warned about by our campaign which was entitled ‘Project Fear’ are being shown to be ‘Project Reality’.

“For example, there is no £350m to save on money going to Europe. It’s not going to go to the NHS and I’m absolutely appalled at the state we are in and extremely fearful about what’s going to happen but I’m staying calm and carrying on.

"I heard we are going to get our country back and we will be in control but this doesn't seem true. It's a shambles and we are now in a mess. Nobody is in control and I'm fearful of the situation in the country.

"As far as I'm concerned I'm proud to be a European, proud to be British and proud to be English. I'm fearful but hopeful the situation will calm down and shock people into behaving a lot more responsibly and reasonably. "

Despite losing the vote in Harrogate, Vote Leave chairman Andrew Dennis said the result gave him an early indication of that a vote to leave would be successful.

He said: “I’m very pleased the public have decided that the way forward for the UK was an independent nation.

“I’m disappointed that we have not yet decided to go for Article 50 which would have given a certain amount of clarity but we have to wait for the politicians to do this.

“Westminster should be moving quickly but they are trying to stall this decision and force a second referendum.

"We need clear direction from our leadership. We should have made a decision very very quickly but Westminster don't want to do that. They now want to wait two months and the direction is now in their hands.

“Now that the campaign is over I can admit I was expecting the majority to be higher. It more or less said to me that we would win on the night. Harrogate is a Eurosceptic town but this is a decision across the whole borough."