Monday, June 27, 2016

David Cameron rules out second EU referendum after Brexit

David Cameron has ruled out a second referendum on Britain’s EU membership.

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said that holding another vote was “not remotely on the cards”. The clarification comes amid a petition calling for a re-run in the event of a close result and following speculation that the government may go to the country again once the terms of Britain’s new relationship have been agreed.

Mr Cameron chaired the first Cabinet meeting since the Brexit vote at midday on Monday, where ministers confirmed plans for a special government unit to draw up options for Britain’s renegotiation with the EU.

However, formal negotiations cannot start until Britain activates Article 50 – initiating the formal two-year procedure for withdrawing from the EU. Mr Cameron has said this will be a task for the next Prime Minister, who will not be in place until a Conservative leadership election has concluded by October.

And also on Monday, the head of the Brexit campaign said it was important to delay the formal process of leaving the EU because people need to "go away on holiday".

Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott welcomed Mr Cameron's decision to delay the "divorce" for several months, despite pressure from Brussels for a rapid departure.

"I don't think we need to rush this process," he told US TV channel CNBC.

"During the campaign there was talk about triggering Article 50 and its process of leaving the EU right away, literally on Friday morning, and I think quite rightly the PM has paused on that which allows the dust to settle, allows people to go away on holiday, have some informal discussions about it, and then think about it come September/October time."

Economic turbulence would "settle very quickly", he predicted.

Mr Cameron will face MPs in the House of Commons later this afternoon, and make his first statements on the Brexit vote and its aftermath since he announced his resignation on Friday.

Asked about the possibility of a second vote, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “That’s not remotely on the cards. There was a decisive result [in the EU referendum]. The focus of the Cabinet discussion was how we get on and deliver that.”

Earlier, sterling slipped to a new 31-year low against the dollar as George Osborne sought to calm volatile markets.

The pound had dipped to $1.3231 on Thursday night - the lowest since 1985 - as the referendum result came into focus and traders sold sterling. But it recovered slightly over the following 24 hours.

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