Brexit: US Urges EU and UK to Manage Separation Responsibly

Kerry on Brexit
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni

Following the Brexit vote last week, U.S. senior officials encourage the leadership of the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) to manage their impending separation responsibly to minimize disruption in the marketplace.

Britain voted to leave EU, which prompted the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron and a global market selloff. U.S. officials also tried to calm down the market by saying that there is no financial crisis developing.

Start with fundamental respect for voters

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the importance of cooperation in a speech in Rome as he met with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

“One country has made a decision. Obviously, it is a decision that the United States had hoped would go the other way. But it didn’t. And so we begin with a fundamental respect for voters,” said Kerry.

He added, “In a democracy, when the voters speak, it is the job of leaders to listen and then to make sure that they are moving in a way that is responsible to address the concerns.”

According to him, handling the situation responsibly will help the “marketplace understand that there are ways to minimize disruption” and “to protect the values and interest we share.”

In Brussels today, Kerry reiterated that it is incumbent on the EU, UK leadership to follow the will of the people. He is hoping for them to implement the separation in a responsible, sensitive, thoughtful and strategic manner.

“It is absolutely essential that we stay focused on how in this transitional period, nobody loses their head, nobody goes off half-cock, people don’t start moving on scatter-brained or revengeful premises,” he said.

Brexit impact on financial markets has been “orderly

Separately, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the Brexit vote last week created another challenge for the country’s economy, but he noted that its impact on the financial markets has been orderly.

When asked if the Brexit vote will hurt the U.S. economic growth during an interview with CNBC, Lew replied, “The U.S. economy is doing pretty well. It is performing in a stable, steady way even though there have been substantial headwinds. There’s no question that this is an additional headwind, but I think that it is something that we can manage through and Europe and the UK can manage through.”

“You’ve seen policymakers act in a very responsible way in the days leading up to and through the vote. There’s no sense of a financial crisis developing,” he added.

Furthermore, Lew said leaders and policymaker should take steps to promote growth and stability.  “The more there’s a focus on restoring confidence, the more there’s a focus on maintaining conditions to promote growth, the better,” said Lew.