With stock markets in free-fall and Europe’s media suggesting yesterday’s historic Brexit vote “is an economic story today”, European Council president Donald Tusk has been quick to stress that “until the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union, EU law will continue to apply to and within the UK. By this I mean rights and obligations”.
David Cameron too has made his first public statement, stressing to expats living throughout Europe that “there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances”.
The way ahead now are negotiations to ensure the interests of “all parts of the UK are protected and advanced” and that the will of the British people is respected. But Cameron himself does not wish to be “the captain” of this new ship.
There is no timetable yet, but he has given himself three months to remain at the helm before handing over in October.
Here in Portugal reactions will come throughout the morning.
Former prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho has already said (before the result came through) that Europe will never be the same, and he fears that other countries will follow.
The risk of other types of referenda throughout the European community “are very evident”, he told journalists yesterday.
UK media is already alerting to exit referenda possible in France, Denmark, the Netherlands and even Austria.
Donald Tusk, giving his best attempt at calling for calm, has said: “There’s no hiding the fact that we wanted a different outcome of yesterday’s referendum. I am fully aware of how serious, or even dramatic, this moment is politically. And there’s no way of predicting all the political consequences of this event, especially for the UK. But for sure this is not a moment for hysterical reactions. I want to reassure everyone that we are prepared also for this negative scenario. As you know the EU is not only a fair-weather project”.
For more reactions from Portugal and indeed expats living in Europe, watch our website throughout the course of today.