Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit market turmoil but EU ambassador says little impact on Australia

Britain's shock decision to exit the European Union should have little impact on Australia's diplomatic and trade relationships, according to the EU's ambassador to Australia.

Speaking to the ABC's AM program, Sem Fabrizi said despite global financial fallout from the Brexit vote nothing would change immediately.

"Until the new agreement for the separation from the UK takes effect, rights and obligations under the treaties will continue so there will be no immediate change," Mr Fabrizi said.

"Certainly Australia is a stronger partner of the European Union and we will continue to work with Australia as we will continue to work with all our partners."

But Mr Fabrizi said the Brexit outcome was not a shock to the EU and that said "war gaming" had been under way to manage the unexpected.
"Certainly not. We were expecting a close call and the people of Britain have decided. A democratic decision has been taken," Mr Fabrizi said.

"So we're now in a period where clarity is needed more than ever. But there's a procedure in place and we would like to have this process started as soon as possible."

Analysts estimate US stocks lost US$700 billion contributing to global losses of around US$3 trillion.

The banking sector was hardest hit with Citigroup down eight percent and Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase five percent weaker.

The losses on Wall Street follow plunges across Europe in the wake of the Brexit vote with Paris down 8.6 percent, Frankfurt 6.2 percent weak and Madrid plunging 12.3 percent.

The Chicago volatily index which measures market anxiety surged as much as 48 percent given the unknowns about the process for Britain's exit from the European Union.

But Sem Fabrizi told AM that while there was complexity ahead the EU would not seek payback with Britain.

"The spirit is always to find the best solution. I don't think we need to enter a conflict mode."

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