A LEADING employer in East Lancashire has blasted the Brexit 'no man's land' which he insists is harming business.

Bosses at J and J Ormerod in Bacup say they have been forced to stockpile £1million worth of raw materials, sourced from mainland Europe, as they await the outcome of talks to exit the European Union.

Joint managing director Stephen Greenhalgh claims all the uncertainty is hampering their capital investment ambitions.

Six months of stockpiling has left the Newchurch Road firm with warehouses bursting at the seams - and no end in sight to the impasse.

Mr Greenhalgh, also a East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce director, said: "We are in no-man's land, where Brexit could occur at any time.

"We have had no choice but to maintain this stockpile of reserves while we wait for a Brexit deal to be agreed and implemented.

“Without the necessary components and materials we would not be able to meet our customers’ needs and that is uppermost for any business to survive.

“Some of our products are on 12-week lead times and so we have to be one step ahead of the game because there is uncertainty about what impact a deal or no deal may have on the importation of items from Europe and JJO is far from just the only business to be affected."

Brexit delays are a recurring topic at chamber gatherings, he added.

Cllr Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, said: "I couldn't agree with him more. This whole thing has dragged on for far too long and is having a negative impact on business and their ability to invest. Businesses understandably just don't want to take the risk.

"This government and their inability to see beyond the party politics of this issue has seen a massive delay in action since the original vote to leave the European Union almost three years ago."