Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne sought to calm markets as the pound fell again on Monday, saying Britain's economy is "fundamentally strong" and remains open for business after the country's vote to leave the European Union.

"I want to reassure the British people, and the global community, that Britain is ready to confront what the future holds for us from a position of strength," Osborne said in his first public speech since Thursday's vote, which caused stock markets around the world to plummet and the pound to drop to levels not seen since 1985.

In his comments, made before markets opened on Monday and after the pound fell an additional 2 per cent against the dollar in overnight trading, Osborne said it was inevitable that the economy would have to adjust.

He warned that it "would not be plain sailing," with volatility in financial markets likely to continue, but he said the country was "equipped for whatever happens."

Contingency plans were ready to be put into action in case of further volatility, Osborne said, after discussions over the weekend with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Following the vote to leave, "some firms are continuing to pause their decisions to invest, or to hire people," he warned.

"As I said before the referendum, this will have an impact on the economy and the public finances - and there will need to be action to address that," Osborne said, referring to his suggestion before the vote that an emergency budget would be needed if Britain voted to leave.

Fellow Conservative Boris Johnson, who co-led the Vote Leave campaign, said reports on the negative consequences of the referendum "are being wildly overdone, and the upside is being ignored."

"The stock market is way above its level of last autumn; the pound remains higher than it was in 2013 and 2014," Johnson wrote in The Telegraph.

Johnson praised Carney, Prime Minister David Cameron and Osborne for ensuring "the fundamentals of the UK economy are outstandingly strong - a dynamic and outward-looking economy with an ever-improving skills base."

Osborne campaigned for a remain vote in the referendum and is a close ally of Cameron.

Cameron resigned on Friday and Osborne has faced some calls to follow suit. Johnson is widely seen as one of the favourites to succeed Cameron.

Osborne said he hopes Britain will not "turn its back on Europe or the rest of the world."

"We must bring unity of spirit and purpose and condemn hatred and division wherever we see it," Osborne said. "Britain is an open and tolerant country and I will fight with everything I have to keep it so."

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed during talks in Rome on Monday that the global community can "minimize any kind of collateral negative effect" from the Brexit vote through "leadership and effort by all of the parties to calm the waters and move in a steady way."

Kerry is scheduled to meet British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond later Monday in London.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.