EU Shocked leaders search for answers as Britain votes to leave

"We are determined to keep our unity as 27 ... I will propose that we start a period of wider reflection on the future of our union."

  • Published:
Shocked EU leaders search for answers as Britain votes to leave play

Shocked EU leaders search for answers as Britain votes to leave

(morungexpress)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Following are reactions from world leaders and politicians on Friday to Britain's referendum vote to leave the European Union:

-- EU LEADERS --

EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT DONALD TUSK

"We are determined to keep our unity as 27 ... I will propose that we start a period of wider reflection on the future of our union."

 

BORIS JOHNSON, LEADING FIGURE IN "LEAVE" CAMPAIGN

"We can find our voice in the world again, a voice that is commensurate with the fifth-biggest economy on Earth ... I believe we now have a glorious opportunity: we can pass our laws and set our taxes entirely according to the needs of the UK economy ...

"There is now no need for haste and ... nothing will change over the short term."

 

JOINT STATEMENT BY EU LEADERS

"We will stand strong and uphold the EU's core values of promoting peace and the wellbeing of its peoples ... together we will address our common challenge to generate growth, increase prosperity and ensure a safe and secure environment for our citizens ...

"We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would necessarily prolong uncertainty ...

"As regards the United Kingdom, we hope to have it as a close partner of the European Union also in the future ... Any agreement, which will be concluded with the United Kingdom as a third country, will have to reflect the interests of both sides and be balanced in terms of rights and obligations."

 

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON, WHO CAMPAIGNED TO KEEP BRITAIN IN

"I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination ... it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required."

 

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel said she deeply regretted the British vote: "Today is a setback for ... the European integration process ... Germany has a particular interest and a particular responsibility in European unity succeeding."

 

FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE

... said negotiations on Britain's exit must be swift, adding: "The British vote is a tough test for Europe."

 

FRENCH PRIME MINISTER MANUEL VALLS

"It's an explosive shock. At stake is the break-up pure and simple of the union. Now is the time to invent another Europe."

 

JEROEN DIJSSELBLOEM, DUTCH CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF EURO ZONE FINANCE MINISTERS

"The worst thing we could do is allow more instability into the EU," he said. "Alas, the British have chosen that, and we must make another choice ... Simply deepening or enlarging the European Union is not the way forward."

 

NORWEGIAN PRIME MINISTER ERNA SOLBERG

... called the vote a "signal from both the British voters and many other voters around Europe who feel that the EU is not providing good enough answers to today's challenges".

 

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR ORBAN

"Brussels must hear the voice of the people, this is the biggest lesson from this decision ...

"Europe is strong only if it can give answers to major issues such as immigration that would strengthen Europe itself and not weaken it. The EU has failed to give these answers."

 

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER WITOLD WASZCZYKOWSKI

"It happened because this (European) concept, which was created some time ago, is no longer popular in Europe."

 

POLISH PRESIDENT ANDRZEJ DUDA

"Everything must be done to prevent other countries leaving."

 

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI

"We have to change (the EU) to make it more human and more just, but Europe is our home, it's our future."

 

ACTING SPANISH PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY

"In little more than half a century, Europeans have built the greatest space for peace, freedom and prosperity in all of humanity's history. And, despite the serious setbacks like the one we face today, nobody should doubt that we are going to continue working to build tomorrow."

 

SWEDISH EU MINISTER ANN LINDE

"We must show people why we believe the EU is important, why we need to remain. We have to look at the things that matter in people's everyday lives, perhaps where there have been ambiguities, where there's been arrogance and where people have felt it's been an elite project."

 

MANFRED WEBER, WHO REPRESENTS GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL'S POLITICAL GROUP IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

"(The decision) ... causes major damage to both sides, but in first line to the UK ... There cannot be any special treatment for the United Kingdom ... 'Leave' means 'leave'. The times of cherry-picking are over."

 

GIANNI PITTELLA, LEADER OF THE SOCIALISTS AND DEMOCRATS IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

"It is sad but it is not the funeral of the European Union."

 

PABLO IGLESIAS, HEAD OF THE SPANISH ANTI-AUSTERITY PARTY PODEMOS

"A sad day for Europe. We must change the route. Nobody would want to leave a fair and caring Europe. We have to change Europe."

 

GREEK PRIME MINISTER ALEXIS TSIPRAS

"We urgently need a new vision and beginning for a united Europe - for a better Europe, more social and democratic."

 

ITALIAN FORMER EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT ROMANO PRODI

"Great Britain voted like European countries did during the last elections. The wealthy voted to stay in Europe, while those who have been excluded from globalisation, by this deranged European austerity, voted to leave ...

"Citizens do not hate Europe; they hate this Europe -- the way it's been managed in these years. It's a policy that they do not understand, that hurts them, that destroyed the middle class."

 

CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MIRO KOVAC

"I'm afraid that there will be an effect on (the EU enlargement) process and that it may slow down a bit."

 

-- OUTSIDE THE EU --

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN HUA CHUNYING

"The impact will be on all levels, not only on relations between China and Britain ... China supports the European integration process and would like to see Europe playing a proactive role in international affairs."

 

THE GLOBAL TIMES, PUBLISHED BY THE RULING CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY'S OFFICIAL PEOPLE'S DAILY

"This referendum will probably be a landmark event that proves Britain is heading in the direction of being a small country with few people, writing itself off as hopeless and acting recklessly."

 

U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP

"They took back control of their country. It's a great thing ...

"People are angry, all over the world ... They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over. Nobody even knows who they are. They're angry about many, many things."

 

POPE FRANCIS

"It was the will expressed by the people and this requires a great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom, as well as the good and co-existence of the European continent."

 

-- EUROSCEPTIC PARTIES --

MARINE LE PEN, HEAD OF FRENCH FAR-RIGHT NATIONAL FRONT PARTY

"Victory for freedom! We now need to hold the same referendum in France and in (other) EU countries."

 

NIGEL FARAGE, LEADER OF THE BRITISH ANTI-EU PARTY UKIP

"The EU is failing, the EU is dying."

 

MATTEO SALVINI, HEAD OF ITALY'S RIGHT-WING NORTHERN LEAGUE

"Thank you Great Britain, next it is our turn."

 

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER BEATRIX VON STORCH OF THE EUROSCEPTIC GERMAN AFD PARTY

"The European Union has failed as a political union."

 

DUTCH ANTI-IMMIGRATION LEADER GEERT WILDERS

"We want be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy ... As quickly as possible, the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union."

 

-- FUTURE OF UNITED KINGDOM --

NICOLA STURGEON, FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND, WHERE A LARGE MAJORITY VOTED "REMAIN"

"I think an independence referendum is now highly likely ... intend to take all possible steps and explore all options to give effect to how people in Scotland voted, in other words to secure our continuing place in the EU and in the single market."

 

THOMAS OPPERMANN, PARLIAMENTARY FLOOR LEADER OF GERMANY'S SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

"If Scotland gains its independence in the end and again joins the European Union, then that would not balance out the loss for Great Britain, but I would warmly welcome the Scots in Europe."

 

MARTIN MCGUINNESS, NATIONALIST DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER OF NORTHERN IRELAND

"The British government now has no democratic mandate to represent the views of the North in any future negotiations with the European Union and I do believe that there is a democratic imperative for a 'border poll' to be held."

 

ARLENE FOSTER, PRO-BRITISH FIRST MINISTER OF NORTHERN IRELAND

"There is no way even, if there was a border poll, that it would be in favour of a united Ireland."

 

ACTING SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER JOSE MANUEL GARCIA-MARGALLO

"It's a complete change of outlook that opens up new possibilities on Gibraltar not seen for a very long time. I hope the formula of co-sovereignty - to be clear, the Spanish flag on the Rock - is much closer than before."

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.