LONDON: Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU has sparked a torrent of reactions from around the world, from anguish in Brussels to delight from euroskeptics elsewhere in Europe.
Here are some of the key quotes.
New ‘captain’ needed
Prime Minister David Cameron — who led the failed campaign for Britain to remain in the EU — announced his resignation after the shock result on Friday morning.
“I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he told the world’s media outside his Downing Street residence, saying a new leader should be in place by October.
Key Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, head of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, cut a triumphant figure.
“Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day,” he said.
“The eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle and it will now not be put back,” he said. “EU’s finished, EU’s dead.”
The result has sparked calls from far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands for similar referendums.
“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” tweeted French National Front leader Marine Le Pen.
“The Dutch people deserve a referendum as well. The Party for Freedom consequently demands a referendum on NExit, a Dutch EU exit,” tweeted Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders.
Murder on the trading floor
The result prompted chaos in global markets, with the pound crashing to its weakest level against the dollar since 1985.
“It’s a madhouse in here. It has been a bloodbath. Carnage,” said David Papier of foreign exchange house ETX Capital in London.
Brave faces in Brussels
EU leaders urged European unity now that their 28-nation club is down to 27.
“It is true that the past years have been the most difficult ones in the history of our Union, but I always remember what my father used to tell me — ‘What does not kill you make you stronger’,” said EU president Donald Tusk. “Today on behalf of the 27 leaders, I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as 27.”
EU Parliament President Martin Schulz hoped the vote would not trigger a domino effect prompting other EU members to quit.
“The chain reaction that is being celebrated everywhere now by euroskeptics won’t happen,” he said.
The result saw deep divisions in how British people voted, with Scotland and Northern Ireland wanting to stay while Wales and large swathes of England voted for Brexit.
Cosmopolitan London was a bastion of pro-European support, in marked contrast to other parts of England where concerns over immigration fueled a sway towards a “Leave” vote.
“People in London have a different identity. We are Londoners first, then European, then British,” said “Remain” voter Beverly David.
Julius Beltrame, 39, added: “I never felt less British and more Londoner.” AFP