Sunday

23rd Feb 2020

UK economy is strong, says finance minister

  • Osborne: "We were prepared for the unexpected and we are equipped for whatever happens" (Photo: Conservatives)

Britain's economy is strong and the authorities have made "robust contingency plans" to deal with the consequences of the vote to leave the EU, its finance minister said.



Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne spoke at 7AM local time on Monday (27 June), before financial markets open in Europe.

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It was the first time he had spoken since the referendum and since the pound fell to a 30-year low against the US dollar as a consequence of the vote to leave the EU.

He said he wanted to "reassure the British people and the global community that Britain is ready to confront what the future holds in a position of strength".

He mentioned economic growth, employment, the amount of capital liquidity and a deficit expected to fall again this year to demonstrate that the UK remained the "strongest advanced economy in the world".

Osborne said there was a "coordinated response" by the government, financial authorities and Britain's international partners.

 He said they were "prepared for the unexpected" and that they were "equipped for whatever happens".


He confirmed, as said by the governor of the Bank of England on Friday morning, that the bank was ready to inject £250 billion of funds to to support banks and smooth the functioning of financial markets".

He said there would be a "further plan if needed".

Faced with plans by companies to move offices out of the UK or to suspend investments, Osborne said that the British economy was "strong, competitive, open for business" and that he was determined to maintain fiscal stability.

He said that Brexit would have an impact on the economy and on public finances, but that it would be up to the next government, in the autumn, to decide on an adjustment budget.

About negotiations with the EU, Osborne said that the UK should trigger article 50 of the EU treaty, which regulates the EU exit process, only "when there is a clear view about what new arrangements we are seeking".

EU will not press UK for immediate exit talks

EU leaders say there is a "very significant crisis" in the UK. At a summit on Tuesday, they will not press the British prime minister to trigger the procedure to leave the EU.

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