Estonian government: Brits' 'no' to EU regrettable
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) expressed regret over the result of the United Kingdom’s EU membership referendum. The voters’ choice had to be respected, he said, and everything done now to maintain the unity of the European Union.
For all of Europe, conclusions needed to be drawn from the British referendum, Rõivas said. About the UK’s future relationship with the union, he added that for the Estonian government it was important that Britain maintained strong ties with the EU, and that the referendum didn’t lead to lasting political confusion and a period of economic instability.
The prime minister added that now the possible economic risks needed to be addressed. “The EU and the UK’s institutions need to do what is necessary to stabilize the situation and to keep the economic impact on the countries of the euro area, the economy, and the financial institutions at a minimum,” Rõivas said.
Kaljurand: No changes right away
Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand (independent) said that the result of the referendum had no immediate effect on the Estonian citizens residing and travelling in the United Kingdom. The UK would continue as an EU member state until the process of the country’s leaving the union is completed, she added.
Leaving the EU would take Britain several years, and defining the future relationship between them very likely even longer, Kaljurand said. The referendum didn’t affect British membership in other international organizations like NATO, she added.