First appearance of Chancellor since Wednesday before EU referendum vote
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER George Osborne has re-emerged after days of silence following an Out vote in the referendum on the UK’s EU membership to allay fears in the UK economy.
He used his first appearance since Wednesday (22 June) to claim that the UK’s economy was robust enough to deal with the fallout of leaving the EU, amid a falling stock market, the devaluation of the pound, and fears of falling house prices.
The Chancellor said in a press conference that the UK alone could trigger the process for exiting the EU, that for the duration of negotiations with the EU the country’s relationship to the 28 member bloc would remain stable.
Quoted on the BBC, Osborne said: “Only the UK can trigger Article 50. And in my judgement, we should only do that when there is a clear view about what new arrangements we are seeking with our European neighbours.
“In the meantime, during the negotiations that will follow, there will be no change to people's rights to travel and work and to the way our goods and services are traded or to the way our economy and financial system is regulated.”
“During the negotiations that will follow, there will be no change to people's rights to travel and work and to the way our goods and services are traded or to the way our economy and financial system is regulated.” George Osborne
Osborne also said in the speech that no emergency budget was necessary, and that such measures could wait for a new government.
Following the Out vote on Thursday (23 June), Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would depart from his office before the Tory conference in October.
Osborne claimed that his austerity measures since 2010 had left the economy in a stronger position to deal with difficulties following the Out vote
He said: “I said we had to fix the roof so we were prepared for whatever the future held and thank goodness we did.”
Osborne, who was before the vote on Thursday thought to be Prime Minister David Cameron’s favourite to be his successor, had campaigned for an In vote, and now faces rivals from the victorious wing of the Conservative party.
Former Mayor of London and probable candidate for prime minister Boris Johnson, who led the Leave campaign, illustrated the uncertainty for the UK in his column for the Telegraph newspaper.
He argued that the UK would be able to continue trading within the EU single market, and implied this could be done without maintain freedom of movement or other regulatory requirements which comes with unfettered trade with the European community.
Other leading Conservatives who are maintaining a low profile are Michael Gove, another key Out campaigner, Home Secretary Theresa May and the out-going Cameron.
Picture courtesy of altogetherfool
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