George Osborne: “Britain doesn’t have a plan for Brexit”

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The Treasury has no contingency plan in place beyond addressing immediate financial stability if the UK votes to leave the EU at this Thursday’s referendum, George Osborne has confirmed.

“Britain does not have a plan for Brexit. We would have would have to deal with the immediate financial stability consequences, but they could potentially be very difficult for the country,” Osborne told LBC this week.

“You cannot plan when you cannot answer the basic questions and it’s up to the Leave campaign to answer this: do you want to be in the single market? Do you want to have a trade deal with France? If you want to have a free trade deal with France, like every other European nation, are you prepared to pay into the European budget?”

The Chancellor refused to confirm whether the government could suspend trading on the FTSE on Friday in the case of a Brexit vote.

Osborne says: “We have of course discussed contingency plans, but the sensible thing is to keep those secret and make sure you are well prepared for whatever happens, but if you set them out in advance you rather undermine the power of those plans.”

Osborne says the UK could still be trying to re-establish trading relationships with countries like France, Germany and Italy in 10 years time.

He defended his proposed emergency budget, which has already been slammed by a number of Conservative MPs, saying a Brexit vote would raise immediate questions over the state of the UK’s public finances.

“It wouldn’t just be when we left in two years time that the economic hit would come; it would start to come next Friday.”