Statement from Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford:
The British people have voted to leave the European Union and the Prime Minister has been clear that their will must be respected and delivered.
Friends and supporters on both sides of the Atlantic have been clear: the Special Relationship will continue to be vital to global prosperity and security. US President Barack Obama and the PM have already spoken today about the outcome of the referendum.
President Obama has said, “the people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.”
And US House Speaker Paul Ryan has said, “The UK is an indispensable ally of the United States, and that special relationship is unaffected by this vote.”
Foreign secretary Philip Hammond has said, “We will remain an important partner for the United States and a good friend with the United States. Of course, we have a close security and intelligence and defence relationship that will endure.”
As the PM has said, Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong and the Bank has set out the steps they are taking to reassure financial markets.
It is important to understand that – as the PM has said – there will be no immediate changes, in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU nor for European citizens in the UK, nor in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.
We must now prepare for a negotiation to exit the EU, involving all the devolved administrations to ensure that the interests of all parts of the United Kingdom are protected and advanced.
The Prime Minister has been clear that he thinks the country requires fresh leadership to deliver this and consequently this negotiation will need to begin under a new Prime Minister, who should also take the decision about when to trigger article 50 and start the formal process of leaving the EU.
There is no precise timetable – the PM’s aim is to have a new PM in place by the start of the Conservative Party Conference in October.
In the meantime, the Government will continue working to deliver our agenda and take to forward the important legislation that we set before Parliament in the Queen’s Speech.
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