The British people in their referendum yesterday expressed their wish to leave the European Union. It is a decision I deeply regret. I believe it will have negative consequences for the UK in terms of economic growth and possibly constitutional stability. For the EU, it is not possible now to foresee the longer-term consequences. At a minimum, it adds one more dossier to the already overloaded agenda of EU leaders.
The referendum result in itself has no legal power. A British withdrawal only begins when Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is activated. EU political leaders in their statement today called on the UK to activate this quickly in order to minimise the period of uncertainty.