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eu's finished - eu's dead

Talking Brexit: The best quotes from a day of shock and awe

Today’s referendum result is possibly the most seismic event in British history for 70 years.

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 eurosceptics elsewhere in Europe.

Here are some of the key quotes:

New ‘captain’ needed

EU referendum David Cameron announcing his resignation outside 10 Downing Street Daniel Leal-Olivas Daniel Leal-Olivas

British Prime Minister David Cameron – who led the failed campaign for Britain to remain in the EU – announced his resignation after the shock result today:

“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.

‘EU’s dead’

EU referendum Nigel Farage addressing the media in Westminster this morning Stefan Rousseau Stefan Rousseau

Key Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, head of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, cut a triumphant figure.

“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 anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders.

Netherlands Wilders Geert Wilders Peter Dejong Peter Dejong

Turkey, which has been trying for decades to join the bloc, said it was the beginning of the end for the EU.

“The period of the disintegration of the European Union has begun. And the first vessel to have departed is Britain,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli.

Belgium EU Summit Boyko Borisov Francois Walschaerts Francois Walschaerts

“Only Bulgaria, Romania and Greece will remain when the domino effect is set off,” added Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

The outcome was greeted with glee by US presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has ridden a wave of populist support at home.

20160624_120916 Donald Trump, speaking in Scotland today

“I think it’s a great thing. I think it’s a fantastic thing,” he said after flying into Scotland – ironically one part of the UK that voted to stay.

Murder on the trading floor

The result triggered chaos in global markets, with the pound crashing to its lowest 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.

EU referendum A screen shows the value of shares listed on the FTSE 100 falling when the London Stock Exchange opened this morning PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

“It’s scary, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” James Butterfill at ETF Securities in London told Bloomberg News. “A lot of people were caught out, and many investors will lose a lot of money.”

Former Labour spin doctor Alistair Campbell was none too impressed with the referendum result

Alistair Campbell highlights 'mental health trauma fall-out' from Troubles Alistair Campbell Dominic Lipinski Dominic Lipinski

“All these leaders [have been] saying to followers, “This is what you have to do,” and they’ve just replied, “No, no, no, we’re not having that,” he said.
All these people careering around with their Union Jacks, jabbing their fingers in your face. Fine, you can have that, but there’s consequences down the track you haven’t thought about.

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 makes you stronger’,” said EU president Donald Tusk.

Belgium Britain EU Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, arriving for a council meeting in Brussels this morning Virginia Mayo Virginia Mayo

“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 eurosceptics won’t happen.

NATO said it was committed to closer cooperation with the EU:

“The UK will remain a strong and committed NATO ally and will continue to play its leading role in our alliance,” alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

Nation divided

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 fuelled a sway towards a Leave vote.

EU referendum A London taxi driver waves a Union Jack flag in Westminster this morning PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

“People in London have a different identity. We are Londoners first, then European, then British,” said Remain voter Beverly David.
“I never felt less British and more Londoner,” added Julius Beltrame (39).

We’ll leave the final word with some British celebrities, not all of whom would traditionally be known for their political savvy

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

© – AFP, 2016

Read: Government puts contingency plans in place after shock Brexit result

Read: Here’s what Ireland’s business leaders make of the Brexit hurricane

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