Tue, Jul 05, 2016 - Page 7 News List

George Osborne to focus on China ties after Brexit: report

Reuters

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is to put more effort into Britain’s relationship with China and lead another trade visit later this year, following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the Financial Times reported.

In an interview with the newspaper, Osborne said: “We have got to get on a plane and sell Britain to the world.”

The Brexit vote threatens to redefine Britain’s growing financial services relationship with China, which has agreed to a number of joint projects as part of the China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue program to deepen economic ties between the two counties, based largely on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) paid a state visit to Britain in October last year to seal what both called a “golden time” in relations.

Britons stunned the world last week with a vote to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23. British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after the vote, asking his Conservative Party to choose another leader by autumn.

Osborne said he has not yet decided who to back in the Tory leadership contest, which has seen British Home Secretary Theresa May become the front-runner to become prime minister.

Osborne is also talking to the Bank of England to ensure that lending does not “seize up” and that the Brexit vote does not produce a repeat of the credit crunch in 2007-2008, according to the newspaper.

On Friday last week, Osborne gave up his centerpiece policy of turning Britain’s budget deficit into a surplus by 2020, faced with potential economic stress following the country’s shock decision to leave the EU.

It was the latest setback for Osborne, who was once considered a future British leader, but who has not put himself forward to succeed Cameron after the two men failed in their campaign to keep Britain in the EU.

“We have got to make sure we are as close as possible to our European allies and that they remain not just key friends and strategic partners, but also a crucial export market,” Osborne said.

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