Managing expectations will be key

Victorious Leave campaigner Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many Leave campaigners will be expecting quick results after winning the referendum

Just as the Chancellor spent the morning trying to calm the City, so there will be a need to manage the expectations of the country.

Real politics will inevitably mean concession and compromise after a campaign in which both sides seemed at times to suggest it was a choice between Utopia and Armageddon.

Politicians on the Leave side have already candidly admitted that some of their supporters will be 'disappointed' by the deal that emerges.

What some heard as promises may prove to be "just a series of possibilities," as Iain Duncan Smith put it yesterday.

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Equally, on the Remain side there is palpable dismay bordering on despair, but politicians must work hard to ensure that frustration and disillusionment can be quickly soothed.

Britain has a tough job on and it will be far harder in a climate of bitterness and division.

Image caption Iain Duncan Smith said that campaign pledges would now become "a series of possibilities" to be negotiated

The campaign itself was unedifying to many. The standing of politicians was frighteningly low before the referendum and one suspects their stock will not have been raised by the events of the last few months.

The institutions and public servants whose expertise and motives were called into question at times during the campaign are going to be key to guiding Britain through the turbulent times ahead.

The British people must have confidence in their system of governance and their precious democracy at this uncertain time.

We have proved to be remarkably resilient in the past. We will need the same grit, determination and courage now.

Emotions are running high on both sides of the argument and there will be a need for a calm head at the steering wheel as Britain navigates the "bumps in the road".

Offering comfort to foreign-born residents that they will be treated fairly and protected from abuse is essential. The same goes for British ethnic minorities.

After all the accusations of lying during the campaign, the public must believe now they are being given honest counsel.

The process just beginning will not yield speedy benefits. Some will suggest that the very people who are charged with guiding Britain out of the EU are trying to undermine it.

There will be anger and bitterness. It will need to be managed carefully.