Brexit: Politicians Address Aussie Fear And Turnbull 'Consoles' Cameron

As Brexit fallout goes global.

25/06/2016 8:44 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST
Stringer . / Reuters
Malcolm Turnbull said Australia will withstand the instability rocking the global stock markets.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reassured Australians the country will withstand the international fallout of the Brexit vote, revealing he "consoled" David Cameron before the UK Prime Minister's historic resignation.

As the pound drops to shattering lows and global markets are shaken, Turnbull said Australia can withstand the economic instability driven by the UK's departure from the EU -- with the British vote to Leave triumphing on Friday.

"Australians, I recognise, will be concerned by the uncertainty and instability in global markets, falls in currencies, including the Australian dollar and in equity markets," Turnbull said.

"It is important to remember that the Australian economy is strong and resilient, and has weathered global shocks before and weathered them well."

Speaking to the ABC's 7:30 Report, Turnbull said he spoke to UK Prime Minister David Cameron following the Brexit vote, discussing Cameron's next steps.

"Naturally I consoled him on the defeat in the referendum and discussed his next steps, and what he announced did not come as any surprise," Turnbull said, confirming Australia's relationship with the UK will remain a positive and intimate one.

Labor leader Bill Shorten also took time in the final week of campaigning to address the Brexit vote, urging Australians to remain calm.

"This decision will have little direct economic impact in the short term, as 3 per cent of our trade is with the United Kingdom and our financial system is not reliant upon the pound sterling," he said.

"We urge people to be calm and not to necessarily confuse the volatility in the stock market with any greater economic shift or proposition in Australia's fundamentals.

"Share markets go up and down all the time, that's not an argument to not change a government."

Australia's High Commissioner to London, Alexander Downer, said Australia will make the most of every opportunity from the UK's split from the EU.

"We will try to maximise our opportunities in the promotion of the national interest in this changed circumstance. But how we do that, and what benefits we can get -- both in terms of trade with the UK, in terms of immigration, in terms of work visas in the UK -- will remain very much to be seen," Downer said.

"The UK will still continue to be a huge player in terms of international security architecture and we'll be maintaining our very intimate relationship in that field with the UK."

Downer said he was sad to see Cameron depart the UK Prime Ministership, but Australia will maintain a "personal" relationship with him.

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