Vive la France!
By far the best reaction to Brexit came from France. Many European leaders rightly saw the Brexit vote as a repudiation of their policies but, instead of being humbled by it, were simply angry about it. They were sure they knew what was best for the peasants and can't see where they went wrong -- EXCEPT M. Hollande. The French president rightly saw the excesses of the EU bureaucracy as a powerful motor behind British dissatisfaction with the EU.
I also liked the reaction of Donald Tusk, representative of the heroic Polish people, who insisted: 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. Being the ham in the sandwich between Germany and Russia, Poles have had to have that attitude. Some excerpts below of the European reaction.
European leaders have warned Britain to leave the EU quickly and avoid prolonging uncertainty.
The presidents of the EU's main institutions said in a statement today that they expect London to act on the decision to leave 'as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.'
As he demanded Britain make a quick exit from the EU, furious European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the U.K.'s relationship with the EU had been ambiguous, but was 'now clear.'
He added a prolonged exit was 'the opposite of what we need', adding that it was difficult to accept that 'a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party'.
French President Francois Hollande has admitted the EU requires 'profound change' in the wake of the Brexit vote as German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her dismay at the result.
Hollande said the UK's vote to leave the EU must act as a 'jolt' to the bloc to implement the change needed to address its troubles - adding he was 'sad' to see Britain sever relations.
The French President warned the remaining 27 member states that action was needed to reconnect with citizens. 'The British people have decided to leave. It is a sad decision but one which I respect,' he said. 'The vote puts the European Union in difficulties. It must recognise its shortfalls.
'A jolt is necessary. Europe must reaffirm it values of freedom, solidarity, peace. The EU must be understood and controlled by its citizens. I will do everything to secure profound change rather than decline.'
As leaders across Europe woke up to the news, France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen changed her Twitter picture to a Union Jack and told her followers the result was 'victory for freedom'.
'As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,' she wrote.
This morning, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, a member of the Le Pen dynasty and an FN MP, tweeted 'Victory!'
Egregious, I know. But this is a picture of Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, an anti-immigration member of the French parliament
The Le Pens are fiercely anti-Europe. They view an end to the EU as the best way of implementing their anti-immigration and anti-globalisation agenda.
French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was 'sad for the United Kingdom' and that 'Europe will continue but it must react and rediscover the confidence of its peoples. It's urgent.'
Meanwhile the result also triggered Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders to call for a referendum on EU membership in the Netherlands. Wilders, who is leading opinion polls, said if he is elected prime minister in March he will force a vote.
He said in a statement: 'We want to 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.
'If I become prime minister, there will be a referendum in the Netherlands on leaving the European Union as well. Let the Dutch people decide.'
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).