Tax rises and government spending cuts cannot be ruled out following a UK vote in favour of Brexit, according to Chancellor George Osborne.

Speaking to BBC Radio today (28 June), Osborne said: "We are in a prolonged period of economic adjustment in the UK. We are adjusting to life outside the EU and it will not be as economically rosy as life inside the EU."

He also said that the Leave campaign should have spelled out its plans for dealing with the impact of a Brexit.

"It was for Leave to come up with Brexit plan. The British people have chosen a different course, but I love this country. As I say, 'My country – right or wrong'. I will do everything I can to make it work for Britain in the difficult weeks and months ahead.

"We are absolutely going to have to provide fiscal security to people. We are going to have to show the country and the world that the government can live within its means."

When asked if that implied tax rises and spending cuts, the chancellor replied: "Yes, absolutely."

He also added that it is clear the country is going to be "poorer" as a result of what is happening to the economy. Asked if he and Prime Minister David Cameron regret holding the referendum, Osborne said he certainly "regrets the outcome".

Overnight, all three major ratings – Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's – moved to downgrade the UK's sovereign ratings. On Monday, the pound fell to its lowest level in 31 years accompanied by extreme volatility in the equities market.

George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne says he will do everything possible to help Britain in the difficult months aheadStefan Rousseau