- Osborne said Brexit would lead to an “adjustment” in the UK economy
- Next chief executive Lord Wolfson said leaving the EU “does not mean isolation” for the UK
- Osborne said he would “play an active part” in negotiating the UK’s exit deal with the EU
George Osborne has insisted that the UK is in “a position of strength” today following the UK’s vote to leave the EU last week.
In a speech this morning, the Chancellor also indicated there will be no immediate emergency Budget.
Retailers have been coming to terms with the fallout of the Brexit, since last week’s seismic result.
On the process of the UK’s departure from the EU, 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.”
He added: “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.”
In an effort the quell turmoil in financial markets after the UK voted to leave the EU last week, Osborne said the UK will face the fall out from Brexit “from a position of strength”.
The Chancellor also implied that he would not resign in the near future as a result of the referendum, despite having campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU.
Osborne said this morning that Brexit was “not the outcome that I wanted” but said that he intended “to play an active part” in negotiating the UK’s exit with its “European partners and allies”.
His speech comes as the pound continues to fall in value, down a further 2.6% today against the dollar at $1.34 in Asian markets.
Next chief executive Lord Wolfson also weighed in on the impact of Brexit over the weekend. The retailer’s share price fell 12.4% on the London stock market on the day of the result.
Wolfson said: “If we aim for an open, tolerant and globally ambitious free trading nation, then we have a chance to build a thriving economy. Just setting that goal will encourage confidence and investment in the UK.
“However, if we pull up the drawbridge and seek to protect our way to prosperity, then we will fail.”
The fashion retail boss also said that “leaving the EU doesn’t have to mean isolation, it could actually mean the opposite but it depends on our tone and objectives”.
He added that Europe was “just one piece in the jigsaw” and insisted that the UK could redefine its “trade relationships with China, India, the Commonwealth and other global economies” as a result of Brexit.
Wolfson is the latest retail boss to stress the importance of negotiating lenient trade agreements with the EU following Brexit.
Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold said that the Government needed to negotiate “the best exit trade deal we possibly can” while Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said that, the more retailers imported, “the greater an issue Brexit will be”.