The only MEP based in Cumbria is closing her office in the county.

Julie Ward, one of several north west MEPs, is shutting her Workington office.

Operations are instead being shifted to Manchester.

The move is being made as Cumbria continues to examine how it will be affected by the nation’s decision to leave the European Union.

Business and farming leaders in particular have been among those watching talks closely, with both sectors in the county having benefited heavily from EU funding over the years.

Mrs Ward was elected to the European Parliament in 2014.

Until her switch decision, she was the only MEP in the region based north of the M62.

Her full-time office manager and her constituency manager will lose their jobs in the move.

Mrs Ward is one of three Labour MEPs in the region. They split the constituency between them after election and the others are based in Manchester and Merseyside.

Mrs Ward opened a Manchester office earlier this year.

It is understood she has spent little time in her Workington office this year.

The politician could not be contacted for comment.

The North West has eight MEPs. They are Mrs Ward, Theresa Griffin and Afzal Khan of Labour, Paul Nuttall, Louise Bours and Steven Woolfe of UKIP, and Conservatives Jacqueline Foster and Sajjad Karim.

Each MEP is provided with a budget from the European Parliament to fund offices and staff in Brussels and their constituencies.

The money is administered by a third party on their behalf.

A majority of voters in all bar one of Cumbria’s six districts – South Lakeland – said they wanted out. In Carlisle, six in 10 people voted in favour of Leave in the Brexit referendum on June 23.

Across the county, an overall 56.4 per cent of people voted to Leave, with 43.6 per cent opting for remain.

Nationally, 51.9 per cent opted for leave against 48.1 per cent for remain.

National borders are “the worst invention ever”, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has claimed.

The comments by Brussels’ top official were dismissed by Theresa May, whose spokeswoman said “it is not something that the Prime Minister would agree with”.

The effectiveness of borders was a major topic during the referendum campaign.