BUSINESSES have been preparing for EU withdrawal for many months and there is optimism about the future.

Karl Mason, of Mason's Gin in Leeming Bar, said many of their ingredients are sourced in Europe so the company has bulk purchased in some instances to ensure continuous supply until new trading rules become apparent.

He said that Mason's is optimistic about business post-Brexit as longs as common sense prevails. He said: "It’s down to the politicians now as they will determine its success or failure by how they deal with it.

"We certainly think the uncertainty over the last two-plus years has put a dampener on spending – let's hope now it’s happening people start to feel confident again.

"Our main concern is the politicians do a poor job of planning, negotiating and (must) put common sense first.

"If people change spending habits and buy British, we have every reason to be optimistic."

Heck Food, near Bedale, is forging into new areas and has invested in new equipment to increase export on the back of huge growth in demand for vegan meat replacement food.

This month the company launched four new vegan ranges and co-founder Jamie Keeble, said: “We are the UK’s fastest growing vegan brand and the vegan sector will be 30 per cent of business this year, mainly export.

"We are literally taking Heck round the world to the Middle and Far East, US and across Europe, hence the £500,000 investment into new equipment making production more efficient."

Graham Bell, manager of the Northallerton Business Improvement District, said Brexit has not been a hot topic in the town because businesses have been preparing for a long time.

He added: “The general attitude of traders I have spoken to is that we will just get on and deal with it."