Britain is ready to confront what the future holds from "a position of strength", George Osborne said on Monday (27 June), although he warned leaving the European Union will have an impact on the UK's public finances.
Alongside outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chancellor had been the most high-profile figure within the 'Remain' campaign ranks but said he has accepted the results of the referendum.
"Thank goodness we fixed the roof, while we could," Osborne said in a speech at the Treasury in London in his first public appearance after Britain voted to leave the EU last week.
"Leaving the EU was not the outcome that I wanted or campaigned, but now that democracy has spoken we must act on that result. I will fully respect that result."
The Chancellor, however, warned that the UK economy will have to adjust to the volatility generated by Friday's events. He added Britain faced three major economic challenges in the wake of a pro-Brexit vote, with volatility arguably the biggest of them all.
Osborne said contingency plans have already been put in place to deal with volatility in financial markets, while "swap lines" have been opened to ensure the impact on the pound, which plunged to a 31-year low on Friday, is minimised.
The Chancellor stressed the UK remained "open for business", insisting Britain should only trigger Article 50 once a plan to deal with the consequences of leaving the EU is firmly in place. He added a number of firms were putting hiring and investing plans on hold to evaluate how Britain would deal with the referendum fallout.
Britain will also have to renegotiate trade agreements with its European neighbours, but Osborne stressed the UK would do so from a strong position. "I am completely focused on bringing stability and certainty," the Chancellor said. "We start from a position of hard-won strength."
Before the referendum, Osborne had hinted at an emergency budget in the event of a 'Leave' vote and on Monday he told the Treasury, the result will have an impact on public finances.
"I've got an important job to do," the Chancellor explained, dodging any questions over his personal future. "I respect the decision of the referendum. The result will have an impact on public finances, but we will have to wait until we have a new prime minister."