Tusk: Not a moment for hysterical reactions over UK referendum
REUTERS photoThe president of the European Union has voiced the bloc’s determination to remain unified after Britain voted to leave on June 23, while cautioning against “hysterical” reactions.
“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 U.K. It is a historic moment but for sure 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 fairweather project,” Donald Tusk, the chair of the European leaders, said June 24.
In a statement released to reporters in Brussels, Tusk said he had spoken to all EU leaders, prime ministers and presidents as well as heads of EU institutions, about the possibility of a “Brexit.”
“Today, on behalf of the 27 leaders [of EU countries other than Britain], I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as 27. For all of us, the union is the framework for our common future. I would also like to reassure you that there will be no legal vacuum. Until the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union, EU law will continue to apply to and within the U.K. And by this, I mean rights and obligations,” he said.
‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’
Tusk, the president of the European Council since December 2014, acknowledged the recent years had been the most difficult in the history of their union.
“But I always remember what my father used to tell me: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” he said.
Meanwhile, Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland also said the Brexit decision must be respected.
“The democratic decision in this referendum must be respected. The best way forward now is for the EU, in accordance with its best traditions, to work together with the U.K. government to obtain the most acceptable outcome for the citizens of U.K. and Europe. Everybody should now focus on what unites our family of European nations; democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” Jagland said in a statement.