Paet: Breakup of UK is increasingly likely
It's increasingly likely that the decision of the British voters to leave the European Union might lead to the breakup of the United Kingdom, said Urmas Paet, a current member of European Parliament for Estonia and former longtime foreign minister.
"Leaving the EU may lead to the breakup of the Great Britain itself," Paet wrote on social media. "But this didn't matter to the Brexit activists."
Scotland notched the second-highest remain vote in the referendum after Gibraltar, which registered 96 percent Remain vote, with 62 percent of Scottish people voting to stay within the EU. 53 percent of Northern Ireland's voters has voted in favor of retaining UK's EU status too.
England and Wales, however, both voted in favor of Brexit as 53 percent of people there voted to leave EU. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a total population of 5.2 million, 3 million and 1.8 million, respectively.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that Scotland would launch immediate talks with the EU member states and institutions to discuss a way for her country to remain within the bloc despite UK's vote to leave.
"Scotland has spoken, and spoken decisively," she said.
Following a Cabinet meeting, Sturgeon said, "We will seek to enter into immediate discussions" with the rest of the EU. She further said a second referendum on Scottish independence from UK is "very much on the table."
On Friday morning, the Electoral Commission in UK endorsed the outcome of Thursday's referendum whereby 51.9 percent of voters backed exit from the EU, while 48.1 percent voted remain.
The number of Leave votes was 17.4 million, while the number of Remain votes was 16.1 million. In total, 33.6 million people or 72.2 percent of the electorate took part in the referendum.