Shadow minister for small business Bill Esterson, Construction Products Association economist Noble Francis, National Specialist Contractors’ Council chief executive Suzannah Nichol and Timber Trade Federation director David Hopkins all participated in a special panel to debate the hot topic.

“The referendum decision must be honoured,” said Mr Esterson. “We are where we are and we have to look at the best relationship we can secure with Europe. We now need to see investment in infrastructure and construction which will help the joinery sector,” said Mr Esterson.

“There is grave concern about tariffs and what they would mean. But we have to come through this period and I think we can.”

Mr Francis said the short-term effects of the Brexit would be a delay in projects, while a hindering of investment could be the impact over the medium-term.

Brexit, he said, might not happen until 2019 and despite housebuilder shares being hit on the stock market he did not think there would be a collapse in the housing market.

Large new commercial projects may be impacted next year, due to a 12-18 month lag between orders and activity. “The long-term fundamentals of construction are good but there will be volatility in the short term,” said Mr Francis. “

There’s a lot the government can do to boost the sector and offset the impact.”

BWF president Cliff Thrumble said the vote was an opportunity, with the building industry being presented with a blank piece of paper for the future.

He said clients were starting to ask questions such as whether his company’s windows were British-made, while a staircase manufacturer at the debate said new enquiries had dropped following the vote.

Performance Timber Products Group chairman Roy Wakeman believed there was no need to worry, as more than 60 million people in the UK would still buy and consume products following the Brexit decision. “Let’s get on with it,” he urged.

BWF chief executive Iain McIlwee said there was an opportunity to reduce imports and promote the industry more effectively to the market.