Like many people here and in the UK, I am obviously very disappointed about the result of the referendum. I wanted it to end differently and had hoped that Britain would want to play a role in arguing for an outward-looking, flexible, competitive, free trade Europe. But the British people took a different decision, and that is the way that democracy works.
As we move to a new phase, I don’t believe it is right that I should carry on as the British Commissioner as though nothing had happened. In line with what I discussed with the President of the Commission some weeks ago, I have therefore told him that I shall stand down. At the same time, there needs to be an orderly handover, so I have said that I will work with him to make sure that happens in the weeks ahead.
I am very grateful to Jean-Claude Juncker for giving me the chance to work on financial services and for the opportunity to help support jobs and growth in Europe. I was also glad to have worked with other Commissioners in trying to take forward our programme of reform, and to have had the chance to work with excellent officials at DG FISMA and in my own team.
I came to Brussels as someone who had campaigned against Britain joining the euro and who was sceptical about Europe. I will leave it certain that, despite its frustrations, our membership was good for our place in the world and good for our economy. But what is done cannot be undone and now we have to get on with making our new relationship with Europe work as well as possible.