Europe reacts to UK's vote to leave EU

Leaders across Europe have reacted to the UK's historic vote to leave the EU.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz told ITV News he "very much" regretted the UK's decision to leave the EU.

He said that the UK has chosen a difficult path by cutting links with the "biggest single market in the world" and suggested that negotiations should happen quickly.

Donald Tusk said the EU is determined to stay united as 27.

President of the European Council, Donald Tusk said Brexit was an "historic moment" but "not a moment for hysterical reactions".

He said the EU was prepared for the "dramatic scenario" adding: "We are determined to keep our unity as 27."

Other reactions have been coming across Europe following the UK's historic referendum result.

  • Germany

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the news was sobering. Credit: Reuters

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it marked a "sad day for Europe".

  • France

France's far-right National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen. Credit: Reuters

The leader of the French National Front, Marine Le Pen hailed the result a "Victory!" and called for a 'Frexit'.

"It is now time to import democracy in our country. The French should have the right to choose," she said.

  • Ireland

Britain's vote to leave the European Union has "very significant implications" for Ireland and the EU as a whole, a government statement said.

"The government will meet later this morning to reflect on the result. Following that meeting, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) will make a public statement," the statement said.

Timo Soini said that the EU must not 'retaliate' in its negotiations with the UK. Credit: Reuters
  • Finland

Finland's foreign minister, eurosceptic Finns party leader Timo Soini, said the result must be respected and any "retaliation" in future negotiations between the UK and EU must be ruled out.

"The nation has had its say," he said on a party news website. "Any retaliation and whinge (in EU-Britain negotiations) is out of the question."

  • Czech Republic

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said negotiations should be carried out 'quickly and rationally'. Credit: Reuters

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the European Union must change quickly in the wake of Britain's vote to support its citizens.

Sobotka said the British vote did not mean the end of the EU and the bloc should agree Britain's leaving "quickly and rationally."

  • Netherlands

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he "deeply regretted" the decision but "European co-operation will have to continue".

He added that Brexit "appeared irreversible but the process to leave may take a long time" and "may not start until after the German elections" which are due between August and October 2017.

  • Poland

Witold Waszczykowski said the vote to leave the EU was bad news for Poland and Europe. Credit: Reuters

Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Britain's vote to leave the EU was bad news for Europe and his country.

He added: "We will be trying to use this situation to make the European politicians aware why this happened. And it happened because this concept, which was created some time ago, is no longer popular in Europe."