FROM 11pm tonight the UK will be leaving the European Union.

There will be a one-year transition period before any changes post-Brexit come in to force.

We spoke to local businesses and organisations about what they thought Brexit would mean to the local business sector.

Paul Byett, managing partner of Wales’ largest independently-owned accountants, UHY Hacker Young, said:

“I was a firm ‘remainer’ and I’m still convinced that the country made a bad decision.

"However, now that the decision is made, my view is that the country is extremely resilient and the worldwide market is mature enough for the UK to strive in the future.

"My view is that the past 12 months has seen stunted UK growth as a result of uncertainty over Brexit. This uncertainty will be quashed by the actual event. It is a fact that EU businesses have ceased many of their UK acquisitions in the past year due to uncertainty and it is likely that this welcome money inflow will be reinvigorated after Brexit.

“I have spoken to hundreds of UHY clients including importers and exporters. Most importers are convinced that their supply will continue seamlessly. For example, one of our clients imports tiles from the EU. The manufacturers will continue to make tiles for the UK, continue to send tiles to the UK and those tiles will continue to arrive and be sold in the UK.

"The lorry carrying the tiles will have the same journey through the same countries with the same border controls. The only difference will be a duty charge, which may or may not be passed onto customers.

"There has been an EU duty on imports from other parts of the world for some time to avoid excess dumping into Europe, so imports from the rest of the world may even become cheaper.

“The exporters have all been in negotiations with their EU customers who are keen to continue their supply of UK goods.

“Over all, the situation was handled extremely badly.

"We elect politicians to take the very best decisions for the country.

"The public is not capable of making decisions of such huge importance. Now that we have made the decision, we have to make the best of it and after six months of panic then we will settle back into ‘business as usual’.”

Heather Myers, CEO, South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “For businesses in Wales, this historic moment will bring a mixture of regret for some and celebration for others - but it is just the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end.

“Engagement with our members has found that businesses fall into three camps – those who trade globally but are awaiting the outcome of new Free-Trade Agreements; those who trade into Europe and are waiting to hear what level, if any, of border friction they may encounter; and those who do not export and think they are unaffected but will need to look at the resilience of their supply chains.

“Although nothing will really change on Saturday, business in Wales is pragmatic and wants to move on from the emotional arguments around Brexit that have stymied confidence and investment for so long.

"The Chambers of Commerce will continue to provide guidance through this next phase of negotiations and offer practical solutions and training from within Wales for Welsh businesses so they can grow under any new arrangements. We will use our relationships with government at every level to advocate for business, making certain their voice is being heard in all relevant discussions.”