Chancellor George Osborne has warned that the economic crisis in Greece has reached a “critical moment” with far-reaching consequences for the UK economy.
“No-one should be under any illusions,” Osborne said yesterday in the House of Commons.
“The situation risks going from bad to worse,” he added. “Britain will be affected the longer the Greek crisis lasts, and the worse it gets.”
Earlier in the day, Osborne met with Prime Minister David Cameron and Bank of England governor Mark Carney, along with work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and business secretary Sajid Javid, among others, to discuss Britain’s response to Sunday’s referendum result in Greece.
Osborne said that while there is “considerable uncertainty about what happens next”, the government is urging Eurozone leaders and Greece to “find a sustainable solution” to the debt crisis.
While no UK officials are expected to take part in today’s last-minute summit in Brussels, Cameron spoke with German chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, while Osborne talked to International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
Osborne said that the trade minister, former BT chief executive Lord Livingston, had met “major” UK companies and business groups last week to discuss their exposure to the situation, with more planned this week. A Confederation for British Industry (CBI) representative confirmed to City A.M. last night that members of the group would meet with the minister today.