LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will continue to have access to the European Union’s single market despite voting to leave the bloc, leading Brexit campaigner and favourite to become the country’s next prime minister Boris Johnson said in a newspaper article on Sunday.
Johnson said Britain could now forge a relationship with the EU based on free trade and partnership rather than a federal system, and that Britain would also be able to do free trade deals with growth economies outside the EU.
“There will continue to be free trade, and access to the single market,” Johnson wrote in a regular column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, adding that there was “no great rush” for Britain to extricate itself from the EU.
Johnson said Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who came under fire from some Brexit campaigners ahead of the referendum for flagging the risks of leaving the bloc, should continue in his job.
“The economy is in good hands,” he said. “Most sensible people can see that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has done a superb job – and now that the referendum is over, he will be able to continue his work without being in the political firing-line.”
He also said he did not detect “any real appetite” for another Scottish independence referendum, despite the country’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying it was highly likely if it is the best option to keep Scotland in the bloc.
Scotland, a nation of five million people, voted to stay in the EU by 62 to 38 percent in Thursday’s referendum, putting it at odds with the United Kingdom as a whole, which voted by 52 to 48 percent in favour of an exit from the bloc, or Brexit.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William James)