George Osborne is kicking off a post-referendum world tour with a declaration that “Britain will be a beacon for free trade...more open to the world than ever”.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal ahead of visiting New York today, the chancellor says that he is determined “to build a more outward-looking, global-facing Britain, with stronger links with its friends and allies around the world”.
The visit, aimed at reassuring investors in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, comes as it is revealed Osborne has twice held conversations in recent weeks with US speaker Paul Ryan to discuss improving US-UK trade.
Osborne’s message to the US includes a commitment to confront those “who want our exit from the EU to signal that we should now turn our back on the world, resist the free-market forces of globalisation and become a more insular, less tolerant place”.
Osborne will also pay visits to Singapore and China in a bid to discuss trade and promote investment, after hosting US treasury secretary Jack Lew in London this week.
In addition to the chancellor’s tour, business secretary Sajid Javid last week visited Delhi in a bid to kickstart talks on a UK-India trade deal, and talks have already begun on a tie-up with Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland to collaborate on access for financial services to the EU Single Market.
The positivity from the government marks a contrast to Treasury warnings before the Brexit vote, which predicted the loss of 800,000 jobs.
Figures from the government also warned of GDP dropping by up to six per cent, while the long term would see households worse off by up to £4,300 per year by 2030.