George Osborne says Britain won't start leaving the EU until a new Prime Minister is in office

The Chancellor said the decision should be delayed

Jon Stone@joncstone
Monday 27 June 2016 07:01
George Osborne says Britain won't start leaving the EU until a new Prime Minister is in office

Britain should not begin the process of pulling out of the European Union until a new prime minister is in place, George Osborne has said.

In a message to nervous firms and investors, Mr Osborne stressed the economy was "fundamentally strong'' and "open for business" in his first public address since the UK voted to leave the EU.

Echoing calls by David Cameron, the Chancellor said in a speech that the triggering of article 50 – the formal process that would start Brexit – should be done by a new prime minister.

Mr Osborne added that he would address his future role in the Conservative Party "in the coming days''.

The Chancellor's call comes after Boris Johnson – currently the favourite to succeed David Cameron as prime minister, also said there was no "haste" in starting the irreversible process. In a column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper today Mr Johnson appeared to equivocate on what a Leave vote would actually mean. "There will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market," he wrote, adding that the secession process "will not come in any great rush".

All countries that currently have access to the European Single Market do so with full freedom of movement. Mr Johnson however said a points-based system would be put in place.

Despite the lethargic approach of British politicians, Brussels officials and other European leaders have called for Brexit to start as soon as possible and for a new prime minister to be put in place immediately.

Mr Cameron has however expressed a preference for his successor to be in place by the Conservative party conference in October. He stepped down on Friday morning following the Leave vote, which he campaigned against – but enabled by calling the EU referendum.

The Chancellor this morning also ruled out an emergency budget, despite pledging one in the event of Brexit as part of his EU referendum campaign.

On Thursday Britain voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union.

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