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EU referendum result—Chair's comment

24 June 2016

Foreign Affairs Committee Chair issues statement following the result of the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016.

Commenting on the results of yesterday's Referendum, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Crispin Blunt MP, said:

"On Thursday 23 June, 2016, the British people were offered a once in a generation opportunity to decide Britain’s membership of the European Union. The Foreign Affairs Committee did not endorse either side on the campaign trail, but published a report which offered balanced analysis. There is now a clear path to follow.

The Committee urges the Government to act swiftly to negotiate Britain’s new relationship with the EU. As detailed in our report, the UK and EU should seek to negotiate some form of trade deal as quickly as possible.

Withdrawal from the EU will not change the UK’s formal status in other key global and regional alliances but swift action by the Government and Foreign and Commonwealth Office is essential to open up new opportunities for the UK to redefine its international role.

The Referendum result has clear implications for the workload of the FCO. The Committee produced a report on the 2015 Spending Review in which we noted that the department was severely short of resources. This shortage is now a crisis.

The FCO needs to be equipped to reassert its leading role in foreign policy-making so that Britain can take its place on the world stage. Significantly boosting the capacity of the FCO will send a strong signal of the UK’s commitment to an outward-looking, globally engaged foreign policy."

The Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a post-referendum evidence session on Tuesday 28 June. Details will be confirmed in due course.

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