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CEO urges continued free trade and movement post-Brexit

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by Tsveta ZikolovaFriday, 01 Jul 2016, 07:58 BST

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) has urged the UK to retain free trade and free movement of people with the European Union in the wake of Brexit, The Telegraph has reported, quoting the Anglo-Dutch group’s chief executive. Ben van Beurden, who backed the Remain camp, further noted that it was not yet clear how the oil major would be affected by the outcome of last week’s vote.

Shell’s share price rallied in yesterday’s session, adding 2.38 percent to end the day at 2,047.5p. The advance was largely in line with gains in the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index surging 2.27 percent to close at 6,504.33 points following dovish comments by Bank of England governor Mark Carney. The group’s shares have gained a little over 10 percent over the past year, and are more than 34 percent better off in the year-to-date.

The Telegraph quoted Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden as saying last night that it was not yet clear how the Anglo-Dutch oil giant would be affected by Britain leaving the EU and that he was concerned by the prospect of a period of change and uncertainty.

“It’s crucial that European governments will keep now a steady hand on the tiller of the economy in what will be probably unprecedented, unpredictable circumstances for some time to come,” he pointed out, speaking at an event in London.

“Shell has always been clear about the benefits of the single market and free movement of people, both for the UK and the EU as a whole,” van Beurden told The Telegraph, adding that he hoped that the future relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe would “continue to provide the right conditions for economic growth”.

The Brexit vote comes at a sensitive time for Shell, which completed the takeover of smaller London-listed peer BG Group earlier this year, and has been looking to slim its portfolio as it continues to battle the lower oil-price environment.

As of 07:58 BST, Friday, 01 July, Royal Dutch Shell Plc ‘A’ share price is 2,047.50p.

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