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UK Treasury Chief Tries to Calm Markets Amid 'Brexit' Fears

He calmly underscored that Britain's economy is as strong as it could be to face the challenge of the international reaction

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    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) following news that the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union on June 24, 2016 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average quickly fell over 600 points, sending markets dropping sharply by 3% with the worst day for financials since 2011.

    Treasury chief George Osborne sought to calm nerves in the markets Monday, as investors worried about the consequences of Britain leaving the European Union.

    In his first public appearance since the vote to leave the bloc Thursday, Osborne tried to reassure markets shaken by the result. He calmly underscored that Britain's economy is as strong as it could be to face the challenge of the international reaction, and that the economy is in a far better position than it was at the start of the 2008 financial crisis.

    "It will not be plain sailing in the days ahead," he said, but added that the U.K. was "equipped for whatever happens."

    Osborne said he had been working closely with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and fellow finance ministers and international organizations over the weekend.

    The pound fell by 2 percent against the U.S. dollar in overnight trading amid fears of the consequences of the vote, but rose 0.5 cents in the moments after Osborne began speaking.

    Political turmoil has roiled the country, as the leaders grappled with the question of how precisely the country would separate Britain from the other 27 nations in the bloc.