The UK “Leave” vote could trigger a wave of exits throughout the EU

Party’s over.
Party’s over.
Image: Reuters/Toby Melville
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The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union—a shock result that is roiling financial markets and will leave many in Europe waking up to a radically changed state of the world.

For starters, the election’s results will strengthen the position of political parties looking to redraw the map of the United Kingdom.

Within minutes of the Brexit vote decision, the Scottish National Party issued a statement saying it “sees its future in Europe,” suggesting the likelihood of another referendum on leaving the UK.

Similarly, Northern Ireland’s Sinn Fein party called for a referendum on Irish reunification.

Next, the Brexit vote affirm the sentiments of other Europeans who have grown disenchanted with the EU. And there are many of them.

A May survey from Ipsos Mori asked residents of eight European countries whether or not they supported a referendum regarding their own country’s EU membership. Nearly half did.

The survey revealed that support for leaving the EU was highest among Italians, French, and Swedes.

European politicians are already preparing for Brexit’s aftermath. On Saturday Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister and an outspoken critic of the UK leaving, will head to Berlin to discuss the referendum’s outcome with Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Already, countries other Europe are taking actions to distance themselves from the European Union. Hungary, for example, is holding a referendum this autumn that could challenge mandatory quotas for migrant resettlement set by the EU.

Marine Le Pen, president of France’s conservative National Front party, declared the referendum’s results a “victory for freedom,” adding “As I have been demanding for years, it is now necessary to hold the same referendum in France and the EU countries.”

“The European Union can break apart. This can go incredibly fast, when isolation instead of solidarity becomes the rule internally and externally,” Asselborn told German Media last November. “We may have only a couple of months.”