Cameron will ‘steady the ship’ but wants new PM in place by October

The Prime Minister has notified the country that he will resign but will stay on to provide calm in the immediate shock period of today’s decision to leave the EU – but he has been clear that he wants to see a new PM in place by October.

George Osborne is likely to do something similar.

In a strong and graceful speech Mr Cameron said that having led the campaign to remain in the EU, he did not feel it appropriate to lead the exit negotiations – ‘to Captain this ship to its next destination’ – which he said will need strong leadership from someone else – but should involve the governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

It has been immediately obvious that the Leave camp had, for some reason, not expected this. Chris Grayling, Leader of the House, looked and sounded quite flustered when the PM:s address had concluded.

It has to be said that if the Leave team had not even considered a ‘what if’ position to adopt in this scenario, the prospect of their future shaping of the UK’s departure from Europe and of its economy us not reassuring.

The financial markets are reacting to the vote exactly as the Remain campaign said they would  and the Leave campaign dismissed out of hand. The pound is at a thirty year low and has taken the fifth steepest fall in its history as a currency. The FTSE 250 is tanking heavily.

The reality, as Mr Cameron said, is that this decision – which not even the Leave campaign had expected, must now be taken in hand and made to work. He has pledged to do all he can to assist that process.

We have yet to hear anything from Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

Nicola Sturgeon issued a written press statement which we have published but is supposed to speak publicly later. The spin she puts on her and the SNP’s inability to get its vote out to the expected degree to support the Remain cause ; with the Labour party in an even worse place, seeing its heartland vote opting to Leave.

The First Minister is intent on taking an independent Scotland into the EU. But it is now being said that both the Dutch and the Danes wll now seek their own exit referenda.

So what about a scenario where Sturgeon and the SNP drag Scotland out of the UK and lash it solely to the EU – only to find that the EU itself collapses?

It’s all a bit like Southey’s anti-war poem, After Blenheim, where, having heard the greybeard’s story of the war, the child, ‘little Peterkin’, responds:

‘But what good came of it at last?’
Quoth little Peterkin.
‘Why that I cannot tell,’ said he,
‘But ’twas a famous victory.’

Nigel Farage spoke early, powerfully and rhetorically – saying that ‘we’ will make the 24th June a national bank holiday and call it ‘Independence Day’.

Given Mr Farage’s personal and long standing commitment to taking the UK out of the EU – and the extent to which this result is very largely owed to his efforts, will he be content to serve under a new PM he would understandably find hard not to see as a carpetbagger?

There are inherent tensions and a variety of different senses of entitlement amongst the Leave leaders which will not make for ease of transition – with none of Farage, Johnson and Gove the team player Mr Cameron has always been.

We are told that Boris Johnson is to make a statement soon.

That will be interesting.


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Related Articles & Comments

  • As it’ll apparently be around two and a half years before the UK can reach the point of actually casting off from Europe, there’s time for Scotland to judge just how good an idea clinging on to ‘EU light’ would really be – particularly if it looked like this country could be labelled the ‘Schottland Palatinate’.

    Boris Johnson was far too cunning to ‘make a statement soon’ – perhaps, in part, due to the fact that the crowd outside his house clearly had more than a sprinkling of noisily hostile people.

    Amazing that Cameron’s Brexit fellow Tories should think that he’d totter on for any length of time as their prime ministerial glove puppet when they’d been so busy shafting him for months. Sheer vanity? – they make John Major’s ‘bastards’ look positively cuddly.

    Can’t imagine the Queen being altogether happy accepting Boris the Bounder as PM – maybe Theresa May, who’s been keeping her head down, will step up to the plate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Robert Wakeham June 24, 2016 10:05 am Reply
    • Just the usual Rent-a-Mob outside Boris Johnson’s home.

      It’s looking as if Corbyn might have to go as well. There are rumours that both he and McDonnell voted Leave even though campaign to Remain!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      Lundavra June 24, 2016 11:04 am Reply
  • You are so biased and bitter Robert that it is no use trying to explain where you go so wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Malcolm Kirk June 24, 2016 10:09 am Reply
    • Me ‘biased and bitter’, or perhaps you a bit starry-eyed, Malcolm?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Robert Wakeham June 24, 2016 2:11 pm Reply
  • Nicola Sturgeon has just paid David Cameron a very great compliment in saying it is not easy to be in his job and all that he has done over his 6 years should be appreciated. She wished him and his family well. Well done Nicola – respect !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Malcolm Kirk June 24, 2016 11:48 am Reply
  • My daughter reports from the London Underground this morning that there was anger amongst commuters. Scotland has an opportunity and challenge with the result. The Scottish Government will play up our European friendly credentials but influence reform within the EU which will now gather pace. Meantime we could do worse than mount a campaign to our English and London business neighbours to relocate here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    Graeme McCormick June 24, 2016 12:29 pm Reply
    • I suspect that EU reform will slow with even more domination by the Germans. A number of countries did not want the UK to leave because we were the only countries to attempt to counter Germany.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Lundavra June 24, 2016 12:36 pm Reply
  • Don’t particularly want to find myself in Schottland Anhalt – though German pensions are higher than ours – but remaining an appendage of Little Ingerland might be a lot worse. Praise Nicola but keep a good stock of tinned food.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Arthur Blue July 3, 2016 12:19 pm Reply

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