Tuesday

31st Mar 2020

British PM to resign in October, delays EU talks

  • (Photo: Georgina Coupe/Crown Copyright)

British PM David Cameron has promised to step down in October after losing the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

He told press outside his official residence, No. 10 Downing Street, on Friday (24 June) morning that he would “try to steady the ship” over the next three months, but he added: “I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination”.

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  • “Those on the losing side, myself included, should help to make it work” (Photo: Mrs. Knook)

He said that he had fought “passionately … head, heart and soul, I held nothing back” to convince British people that they were “better off, safer and stronger in the European Union”.

But he said Britons had chosen a “different path” and that “those on the losing side, myself included, should help to make it work”.

Cameron noted that he had spoken to the British queen on Friday morning and that he planned to hold a cabinet meeting on Monday.

He also said that he would attend the EU summit next week in Brussels “to explain the decision that British people had taken”.

He said his successor in the PM post would be the right person to trigger article 50 of the EU treaty, which governs the never-before-used process of a country leaving the EU.

His decision to delay the negotiations on the terms of Britain's exit prompted leading MEPs on Friday to complain that this would prolong "uncertainty".

But one Tory MEP, Syed Kamall, said "it would not make much difference when you trigger [the exit process], the important thing is to have a deal that works for both sides."

The outgoing PM also tried to reassure British people living in Europe and the financial markets.

“There will be no immediate changes in your [British expats’] circumstances. There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold”, he said.

“Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong”, he added.

Alluding to the chauvinistic rhetoric of some Leave campaigners, he said the UK would keep up spending on overseas aid and would still be a “multi-racial, multi-faith democracy” that would welcome skilled migrants.

He also said it would be an open society “enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality”.

Standing next to his wife Samantha, he said in a trembling voice: “I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed."

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