Theresa May has officially launched her campaign for Conservative party leader, ruling out calling an early general election or second EU referendum.
The Home Secretary also said the EU's article 50 provision to formally start the Brexit process should not be invoked until next year at the earliest.
She argued that the country needed "strong leadership and a clear sense of direction" in the coming years.
"I want to use this opportunity to make several things clear. First, Brexit means Brexit … the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the backdoor, and no second referendum," she said at a press conference.
"Second, there should be no general election until 2020. There should be a normal autumn statement held in the normal way, at the normal time, and no emergency budget.
"And there should be no decision to invoke article 50 before the British negotiating strategy is agreed and clear, which means article 50 should not be invoked until the end of this year."
She also added that she would not push for Britain to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, a policy she previously flirted with.
On freedom of movement, the Home Secretary said that voters had sent a clear message that they wanted restrictions on immigration.
The favourites in the Tory leadership race
The favourites in the Tory leadership race
1/5 Theresa May
The longest-serving Home Secretary in 100 years took a back seat in the referendum campaign. While backing Remain, she did not hit the campaign trail and delivered only a handful of speeches and interviews, and was critical of many aspects of the EU, particularly the European Convention on Human Rights. Hedging her bets allows her to now emerge as a ‘unity’ candidate, and she is said to have been building up her back-room staff in preparation for a leadership bid. She has the significant advantage of having served in one of the great offices of state, in a steady and competent manner that has won her many admirers within party and the civil service. At a time of great instability, it may be that she is viewed as steady hand on the tiller. Mrs May does however, lack the ‘star quality’ of a Boris Johnson and party members may doubt her ability to connect with ordinary voters
2/5 Michael Gove
The Justice Secretary may be able to set himself up as ‘the thinking Tory’s Brexit candidate’. Made an enormous political and personal decision to back Leave, taking on his old friend David Cameron. He performed well during the TV debates, and will be an admired figure among Eurosceptic Conservatives. Along with Johnson, he will be hindered by the fact that he led a very divisive campaign, characterised by ‘blue-on-blue’ action. MPs may also judge that he lacks Boris Johnson’s wider appeal with the electorate. Possibly more likely that he will settle for being his new bosom buddy Boris’s Chancellor
3/5 Stephen Crabb
Highly-rated Work and Pensions Secretary, raised on a council estate, so could reach out to non-traditional working class Tory voters
4/5 Andrea Leadsom
Minister of State for Energy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change is one of the most prominent figures in the Leave campaign, seen to have performed well in TV debates
5/5 Liam Fox
British Conservative MP and former Secretary of State for Defence, as sources said he will stand for the leadership of the Conservative Party
She however said she would like Britain to remain in the single market if it restricted freedom of movement.
All countries with full access to the European single market currently have freedom of movement with the EU as a whole. EU officials have in recent days signaled that this is unlikely to change.
Ms May launched her campaign just minutes after Michael Gove and Andrew Leadsom announced theirs. Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb launched his yesterday.
Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, long the favourite to succeed David Cameron, is also expected to enter the fray.
Nominations for the Conservative leadership election close today, having opened yesterday.
MPs need only two nominations each to enter the race. Rounds of voting then take place amongst MPs only, with the weakest candidate knocked out at every stage.
The remaining two candidates are then put to the party membership at large. This is expected to happen in early September.