“At the last General Election the Conservative Party promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. That promise was delivered and the British people have expressed their clear view that the United Kingdom should leave the EU.
“Now the detailed work needs to begin to ensure the best possible trading arrangements are in place between the UK and the EU. The priority for the Government must be to reassure business, both domestic and multi-national, that Britain remains open for business, is politically stable and that investment decisions should go ahead as planned.
“I believe the outcome of the referendum was down to two principal reasons. First, that people want decisions about our laws to be made in Westminster not Brussels. Secondly, that there is huge concern about levels of immigration into this country. Throughout the twentieth century annual net immigration was about 30,000 per year. For the last 12 years it has been between 200,000 and 350,000 each year. And because it is the EU principle of free movement that has largely driven that increase, leaving the EU became the way to tackle that issue.
“Britain can and should rise to the challenges that will face us over the next few years. We are a free and enterprising nation of hard working people. We an are outward looking nation with commercial and cultural links all over the world. I am optimistic our country will prosper as we respond to this historic and far-reaching decision.”