Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU) with almost 52% of voters backing Brexit, triggering the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.
While the outcome may cause a period of economic uncertainty and adjustment, as national and international organisations and businesses evaluate the impact of the decision, the Prime Minister has said there will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.
As an independent organisation, working on behalf of all consumers, Which? did not take a position on the referendum but is determined to ensure that the consumer voice continues to be heard.
Peter Vicary-Smith, Which? chief executive, said: ‘Following the Leave result, as this is an unprecedented situation, we understand there will be questions from consumers over the practicalities of what happens next, and the implications for consumer rights.
‘The negotiations over the nature of our withdrawal from the EU will be a lengthy process, and Which? is committed to working with the government to ensure that the consumer voice is heard and important rights are protected.’
In the immediate aftermath of the referendum, consumers may see some impact on their finances. The pound fell to its lowest value against the US dollar in more than 30 years. A weaker pound means weaker spending power when you’re travelling abroad, but it will also affect the prices of products imported from abroad, such as petrol.
Reacting to the vote to leave the EU, Bank of England governor Mark Carney insisted that the Bank would take any measures needed to secure economic and financial stability.
Mr Carney said that some market and economic volatility was to be expected in the aftermath of the vote to leave, and added: ‘But we are well prepared for this. The Treasury and the Bank of England have engaged in extensive contingency planning, and the chancellor and I have been in close contact, including through the night and this morning.’
For more information on how the leave vote might affect your wallet, read our guide to what Brexit could mean for your personal finances by Which? Money editor Harry Rose.