Brexit will have a “profound” effect on the people of Harrow according to one of the borough’s leading business lights.

Matteo Bergamini, founder of media company Shout Out UK - the winner of this year’s inaugural Harrow Business Den awards - said extensive socioeconomic changes were afoot.

“Harrow and London rely heavily on trade to and from the EU – Brexit will have a profound effect on the pocket of every household in Harrow,” he said.

“However, more importantly, Harrow is a very multicultural borough, as is the rest of London. Brexit seems to have given racism and hate crime a green light across the UK.

“My fear is that this growing hate towards multiculturalism will continue to grow and have a profound negative impact on Harrow and London, one of the only truly multicultural hubs in the world.

“The growing racism that Britain is currently experiencing will have a profound effect on young people as they experience a shift in sentiment, not to mention the economic issues we face.”

He said young British people could be drastically affected by decision to leave the EU, with school-leavers embarking on the preliminary stages of their career likely to find it more difficult to find suitable employment as a result.   

“Brexit will have a huge impact on the next generation and, despite a high turnout, still not enough people voted. I feel this is down to a lack of political education,” he said.

“The job market was already tough without Brexit. Now there is an ever-looming threat to destabilise the economy further to the point that even fewer jobs will be available.”

The leader of Harrow Council – Sachin Shah – was quick to air his views in the wake of the EU referendum result, praising the diversity of the borough.

“Harrow is one of London’s most diverse boroughs. The diversity is a strength from which we all benefit every day,” he said.

“We enjoy a rich cultural life and have strong and integrated communities that include people from many different backgrounds.

“There are more than 100 languages spoken in Harrow, yet we’re in the top ten areas in the country for people who describe their nationality as ‘British’. That’s a neat summing up of what we’re all about – different but together – a safe and successful mix of people united in calling Harrow home.”

However he did deplore the increase in race-related incidents which marred the days following the referendum.

“After last week’s vote to leave the European Union, there has tragically been a rise in the occurrence of hate crime nationwide, including elsewhere in London. Hate crimes are attempts to degrade our rights, to intimidate and dehumanise, to inhibit the pride we each rightly feel about who we are,” he explained.

“Everyone has a right to assert who they are, and should be free to do so unapologetically and without fear of persecution.

“There have been many hard-won battles in this country’s history to establish that right and, whilst challenges remain, we should be proud of our reputation for respect and tolerance.”

Despite Harrow narrowly voting to remain a part of the EU, Harrow East MP Bob Blackman – who campaigned to leave – said there was no room for a second referendum in a society that “values democratic accountability”.

“Now it’s about making sure Britain’s place in the world is protected and that we secure the best possible terms of trade with the EU whilst ensuring that people’s real concerns about the lack of control over migration are answered,” he said.

Mr Blackman also addressed the spike in racist incidents following the referendum: “I have been concerned by reports of a rise in hate crimes purportedly associated with the referendum result.

“There is absolutely no place in society for this kind of behaviour, wherever it comes from.”