UK News

Video - Article 50 delay 'necessary so people can go on holiday,' Vote Leave chief says

 Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott backed David Cameron's decision to delay the EU "divorce" for several months in an interview with US TV channel CNBC
Joe Churcher, PA

HOLDING off on the formal process of leaving the EU is important because people need to "go away on holiday" in the wake of the referendum campaign, the head of the Brexit camp said.

Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott backed David Cameron's decision to delay the "divorce" for several months while a new prime minister is chosen, despite pressure from Brussels for a rapid departure.

"I don't think we need to rush this process," he told US TV channel CNBC.

"During the campaign there was talk about triggering article 50 and its process of leaving the EU right away, literally Friday morning, and I think quite rightly the PM has paused on that which allows the dust to settle, allows people to go away on holiday, have some informal discussions about it, and then think about it come September/October time."

He said Vote Leave had "done lots of detailed planning" for Brexit and suggested Michael Gove was "probably the man to lead the negotiations" - but dismissed the idea of any formal role for Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Economic turbulence would "settle very quickly", he predicted.

Denying the campaign had been guilty of "exaggeration" over its prominent claim that the UK could better spend £350 million a week paid to the EU on the NHS, he said: "As a campaign group we felt the NHS should have some more money.

"Now, of course, it's up to Parliament to decide.

"That is the key point here. We elect our representatives to Parliament, they will decide what happens with the negotiation, they will decide what happens to the independence dividend from leaving the EU."

Asked if he would take a role in a government led by Boris Johnson or Mr Gove, he said: "I don't know. I finished an epic campaign, it's been hard work, I think it's now time for a holiday."

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

UK News