What Is the UN Response to Brexit?

European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: UN / Carmen Cuesta Roca
European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: UN / Carmen Cuesta Roca

Following the vote in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) – termed as Brexit (a portmanteau of “Britain” and “exit”), United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that the UN will continuing to work with both “important partners.”

“The Secretary-General expects the EU to continue to be a solid partner for the United Nations on development and humanitarian issues, as well as peace and security, including migration,” said a UN statement.

“He also expects that the United Kingdom will continue to exercise its leadership in many areas, including international development. He very much hopes that this will continue,” said the statement released by the office of Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

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“When we work together, we are stronger,” the statement also said.

The UK electorate voted Thursday (June 23) in a referendum on the country’s membership to EU. The result of the referendum was 51.9% in support of an exit (17,410,742 votes) and 48.1% (16,141,241 votes) to remain with EU – with a turnout of 72.2% voters.

The UN Secretary-General said he has closely followed discussions surrounding the referendum in the UK, and that the vote to leave the EU came at the end of “intensive deliberations and rich discussions not just in the UK, but across Europe.

“Now, as the United Kingdom and other EU Member States embark on the process of charting a way forward, the Secretary-General trusts in Europe’s well-proven history of pragmatism and common responsibility in the interest of European citizens,” the statement said.

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Rakesh Raman