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UK has made limited contingency plans for Brexit vote: Osborne

[LONDON] British finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday that the government had done little contingency planning for a possible vote to leave the European Union when the country holds an in-out membership referendum next month.

"To be honest we have not done a load of contingency planning for leaving the EU beyond the immediate issue on financial stability," Mr Osborne said in response to a question from lawmakers.

The government had previously said it was not making contingency plans, and Mr Osborne made clear that he and Prime Minister David Cameron wanted to keep planning limited and focus on winning the vote to stay in the EU.

He also said an "Out" vote would require parliament to spend years passing legislation to undo EU laws.

"If we vote to leave the European Union, the House of Commons is going to be doing nothing else for many, many years," he said.

The Bank of England said in March that it would offer extra funds to banks via liquidity auctions to help offset any problems in financial markets around the time of the June 23 referendum.

REUTERS