No need to rush Brexit. Let’s all en­joy a hol­i­day, says Leave chief

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Christo­pher Hope CHIEF PO­LIT­I­CAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

HOLD­ING off on the for­mal process of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union is im­por­tant be­cause peo­ple need to “go away on hol­i­day” in the wake of the lengthy ref­er­en­dum process, says a lead­ing fig­ure of the Brexit cam­paign.

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

Mr El­liott said: “I don’t think we need to rush this process. 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.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing that the Ger­man Chan­cel­lor [An­gela Merkel] was say­ing there shouldn’t be a rush now to start the process and trig­ger Ar­ti­cle 50.

“We should all take a pause, see where the dust set­tles, then start in the au­tumn.”

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. Mr El­liott said: “This is very much a win for Vote Leave. Vote Leave didn’t in­clude Ukip as a cam­paign, we were cross-party, we had Ukip rep­re­sen­ta­tives, but we in­volved the Con­ser­va­tive Party, the Labour Party, the Lib­eral Democrats, the Greens…

“I think Nigel Farage has played a role get­ting the ref­er­en­dum, but I think now the ac­tual process of ne­go­ti­a­tion needs to be done by peo­ple from the gov­ern­ing party, from the Con­ser­va­tive Party.”

Eco­nomic tur­bu­lence from mar­kets and com­pa­nies re­act­ing to the de­ci­sion would “set­tle very quickly”, he pre­dicted.

Mr El­liott de­nied that his 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.”

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