Britain’s seismic decision to exit the European Union set of a wildfire chain of events on Friday (June 24): the prime minister resigned, Scotland announced it would likely hold another referendum to break up with the UK because it wants to stay in Europe, the pound got shellacked, the Bank of England said financial doom was not imminent; markets everywhere tanked anyways.
Politicians in the UK went into crisis mode, with the voices who led the revolution calling for calm and frenemies quickly offering olive branches. In one of the weirder moments of the day, Boris Johnson, London’s ex-mayor and a conservative who led the charge to leave the EU, heaped effusive praise on the prime minister whose job he just helped ransack and said: “We will always be part of Europe,” as if the vote he mobilized was nothing more than a sticker he accidentally slapped on his Range Rover.
There were other reactions. They were sometimes articulate, but more often stilted as the world grappled with the fallout from Britain’s self-inflicted referendum.
Here are a few:
François Hollande, president of France: 😢
Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany: 😞
Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland: 💪
Donald Trump, presumptive Republican presidential nominee: A Trump presidency welcomes you… 👐
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England: I’ve got a £250bn bazooka… 💰
Young people: 😠
Old people: 😏
Boris Johnson, ex-mayor of London, leader of “leave” campaign: 😱
David Cameron, British prime minister: 😧
George Osborne, British chancellor: 👀
Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, Britain’s far-right party: 😲