Chancellor George Osborne has remained quiet in the days following the results of the EU referendum, but today he delivered a speech to reassure markets, claiming he will do “everything [he] can to make it work for Britain.”
Osborne claimed that he does not “resile from any of the concerns [he] expressed during the campaign” but that he accepted fully the outcome of the referendum.
Only the UK can trigger Article 50, and in Osborne’s judgement the UK should only do that when there is a clear view about what new arrangement it is seeking with its European neighbours.
In the meantime, and 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,” he said.
However, despite the government’s attempts to reassure the people that the UK will not be rushing to divorce the EU, there are already some signs of knee-jerk reactions by businesses.
According to Osborne, “it is already evident that as a result of Thursday’s decision, some firms are continuing to pause their decisions to invest, or to hire people.
“As I said before the referendum, this will have an impact on the economy and the public finances – and there will need to be action to address that.”
Given the delay in triggering Article 50 and the Prime Minister’s decision to hand over to a successor, Osborne suggested it is sensible for that decisions on what that action should consist of should wait for the Office for Budget Responsibility to assess the economy in the autumn, and for the new Prime Minister to be in place.
“But no one should doubt our resolve to maintain the fiscal stability we have delivered for this country” he said.
“To all companies large and small I would say this: the British economy is fundamentally strong, we are highly competitive and we are open for business.”