The UK government must inject confidence into the retail sector in the wake of the EU referendum result, according to a top industry association.

Thursday’s historic referendum saw 52% of voters agree to have the UK leave the EU, while the remaining 48% of voters wanted to remain.

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Reacting to decision, Alan Hawkins, CEO of the British Independent Retailers Association (bira) said: “Above all, consumers, and the retailers that serve them, need to be given as much confidence as possible from now until the agreement for the UK to leave the EU is signed, sealed and delivered.

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“That means laying out predictable timetables and sticking to them.”

Bira believes that market turmoil on the morning of the announcement, followed by the immediate political aftershocks, will not be the only potholes in the road to life outside of the EU.

While the slide in the pound against the dollar will make imports, particularly oil, more expensive, pushing inflation upwards, it will also help exporters, the firm said.

Hawkins was also watchful of the likelihood of interest rate changes. He said a further fall was possible if the Bank of England became concerned about a developing recession, but increases could follow if inflation grew too quickly.

That could dampen the national housing market, which might be relatively welcome in the overheating London market, but could also weaken prospects for retail sectors running from building supplies, according to Hawkins.

“Whatever we thought about Brexit, and members were evenly split on the issue, we are where we are today. We call on the government to do everything it can to make sure that calm and stability reign in the difficult run-up to the final exit,” he concluded.