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British finance minister to meet Wall Street investors amid Brexit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne leaves from 11 Downing Street in central London on June 28, 2016. (photos by AFP)

The British finance minister is set to meet with Wall Street's biggest investors in New York on Monday in an attempt to urge them to stay with the country amid an exit from the European Union.

"While Britain's decision to leave the EU clearly presents economic challenges, we now have to do everything we can to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to do business," said Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in a statement on Sunday.

He made the remarks in the wake of a referendum late June, when about 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48 percent of the people voted to stay in the union.

The outcome, dubbed Brexit, has put the British economy in tatters, pushing the minister to pursue the country’s interests around the world and particularly in the US.

"Pursuing a stronger relationship with our biggest trading partners is now a top priority ... my message to the world is that Britain may be leaving the EU but we are not quitting the world. We will continue to be a beacon for free trade, democracy and security, more open to that world than ever," Osborne said.

Pro-EU people hold up a European Union flag during a picnic against Brexit organised by the General Assembly in Green Park in London on July 9, 2016.

In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, the minister voiced willingness to strengthen ties with the Mexico, Canada, and US, saying he has been in touch with US House speaker Paul Ryan.

"As I will tell Wall Street, we want more finance in London, not less," he wrote. I have spoken to House Speaker Paul Ryan several times in the past two weeks about a stronger trading relationship—and this week I will welcome Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to London to see what more we can do together.

Officials with five US investment banks promised Osborne last week to help London survive after Brexit.

In the June 23 vote, more than 17.4 million Britons said the country should leave the bloc just over 16.14 million others favored remaining in the EU.

‎"The question now is not what Britain is leaving; it is what Britain will become. There are 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 globalization and become a more insular, less tolerant place,” wrote the minister, who favored remaining in the EU.


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