UK in a position of strength, says Chancellor

UK in a position of strength, says Chancellor Osbourne

London, June 27 (IANS) Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne on Monday said Britain was ready to face the future “from a position of strength” and indicated there will be no immediate emergency budget.

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“I said we had to fix the roof so we were prepared for whatever the future held and thank goodness we did,” he said in a statement aimed at calming financial markets after the Brexit vote triggered market turmoil on Friday after Britain voted to exit the European Union (EU).

He said there would still need to be an “adjustment” in Britain’s economy, BBC reported.

However, it was “perfectly sensible to wait for a new prime minister” before taking any such action.

He also said that only Britain could begin the process of leaving the EU by triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Initially known as the Reform Treaty, it is an international agreement amending the two treaties that form the EU’s constitutional basis.

“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 said.

“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.”

The chancellor’s statement came as the repercussions of the Brexit vote continued to shake Britain’s political system.

The opposition Labour party has seen 14 of its senior members resign since shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn was sacked on Sunday after he told party leader Jeremy Corbyn he had lost confidence in him.

The latest front-bench resignations on Monday morning were by shadow foreign minister Diana Johnson, shadow civil society minister Anna Turley and shadow defence minister Toby Perkins.

In response, Corbyn has announced a reshaped shadow cabinet, but he still faces a potential no-confidence motion from Labour MPs.

Before the chancellor’s statement, the pound fell further in trading in Asia, down another 2.6 per cent against the dollar at $1.34.

In early trading on the London stock market, the benchmark FTSE 100 index fell nearly 1 per cent before recovering some of the lost ground.

Osborne said he had spoken to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and that there were “well thought through contingency plans if needed”.

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