ROSSENDALE and Darwen MP Jake Berry has admitted he got it wrong when he voted to stay in the European Union in 2016’s referendum.

He said the UK was making ‘great progress’ in its Brexit negotiations and he would now vote to quit the European Union.

The northern powerhouse minister was like his boss Theresa May a ‘reluctant remainer’ in the 2016 Euro-referendum.

With a year to go before the UK leaves the EU, Mr Berry said yesterday that the boost in economic performance for Lancashire and the North West since had changed his mind over the issue.

Leading Brexit supporter and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said he was ‘delighted’ his Tory Parliamentary colleague had changed his mind in the face of the facts since the June 2016 vote.

But Blackburn Labour MP Kate Hollern said Mr Berry’s confidence was misplaced.

Mr Berry said: “The North West, and particularly the Lancashire economy, is going from strength to strength.

“The latest productivity figures from the Purchase Managers Index show that the region is now growing faster than London following the Brexit vote.

“Lancashire, which has always had a global facing economy, is benefitting from the decision to leave the European Union.

“I was a reluctant remain voter but now describe my self as a ‘re-leaver’ and having seen what has happened since the referendum would now vote for Brexit.

“We are making great progress in our negotiations with the EU.

“I am convinced Theresa May will secure a good deal for trade with the EU and the wider world which will be good news for Lancashire companies.

“The Northern Powerhouse will be crucial to Britain after Brexit.”

Mr Evans said: “I am delighted that Jake has changed his mind in the face of the facts after Brexit.

“Theresa May has shown we can negotiate at transition deal despite what people said and the divorce bill is now settled.

“She will deliver a Brexit which means Brexit which is what the residents of every constituency in Lancashire voted for.

“When we lave the EU, the county’s companies will not just still be able to trade with Europe but having left its custom union will be free to trade more with the rest of the world.”

Mrs Hollern said: “I’m surprised to hear how confident Jake Berry is as to the progress that is being made on Brexit.

“The local businesses I speak to are very concerned about their futures if the Brexit deal is not well managed. I remain personally very concerned.

“The Prime Minister appears to be playing a very good smoke and mirrors game, whilst sticking her head in the sand over major issues.”