The UK will continue to strengthen and work with Hong Kong on trades and services, the British consulate general said in a press statement released on Monday, after British voters chose to leave the European Union in a referendum last Thursday.

Acting Consul General Esther Blythe said that “the UK remains committed to strengthening its rich and wide-ranging relationship with Hong Kong. We will continue to work together as partners in support of global free trade, and we will continue to develop our bilateral trade links with Hong Kong.” She also said that “London will continue to be a strong partner for Hong Kong on financial services.”

The British consulate. Photo: HKFP.

The British Consulate General also said in a statement that “there will be no immediate change in the way British passport holders travel within the EU, or in the way UK goods can move or UK services can be sold.”

George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that he “[does] not want Britain to turn its back on Europe or the rest of the world.” and is “completely focussed on the task in hand as Chancellor of the Exchequer to bring stability and reassurance.”

George Osborne. Photo: WIkicommons.

Markets were sent into a panic on Friday as the pound at one point lost nine per cent and dropped to its lowest value against the US dollar since 1985. On Monday, Hong Kong’s market dropped 0.16 per cent, or 31.83 points, to close at 20,227.30. Last Friday, it dropped almost three per cent after the UK’s decision was announced.

Financial secretary John Tsang said on Friday after results that the EU referendum will not have a significant, direct effect on Hong Kong as Britain’s trade volume with the SAR is only 1.5 per cent of Hong Kong’s total. However, he also said that the 600 British enterprises in Hong Kong will face an indirect consequences due to the UK’s exit.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.