Referendum

Influential women around the world react to Britain’s stunning Brexit vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the media following the United Kingdom's referendum vote to leave the European Union on June 24, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

Reactions from some of the most influential and high-profile women the world over poured in on Friday following the stunning vote by the people of the U.K. to leave the European Union. Women from the worlds of politics and entertainment weighed in and their respective takes on the result of the vote ranged from despair to measured patience to activism, but, not surprisingly, fell in line with political ideology.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon declared the outcome of the vote “democratically unacceptable” and vowed that a second referendum is “on the table.”

French far-right leader and presidential contender Marine Le Pen changed her Twitter profile pic to the Union Jack as a show of support for the outcome. “A victory for freedom,” is how Le Pen hailed the result in a post on Facebook. “We now need the same referendum in France and in E.U. nations.” Le Pen went on to call for a “Frexit” vote in France.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, in a despondent response to a tweet from one of her followers, posted on Twitter, “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted magic more.”

In a post on Facebook, former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin celebrated the outcome as “affirming status that [the U.K.] controls its own borders and protects its own people.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the outcome of the referendum as a “blow” to Europe, but cautioned against knee-jerk reactions in the wake of the historic vote, according to Agence France-Presse.

“We take note of the British people’s decision with regret. There is no doubt that this is a blow to Europe and to the European unification process,” Merkel said in a televised statement. Merkel added that remaining E.U. members should “calmly and prudently analyze and evaluate the situation, before making the right decisions together.” And she called on Europeans to “never forget that the idea of European unity was an idea of peace.”

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton issued a statement Friday morning saying, “We respect the choice the people of the United Kingdom have made.” Like Merkel, Clinton urged a calm approach to tumultuous times, though her remarks were aimed more at American voters who will go to the polls in November. “This time of uncertainty only underscores the need for calm, steady, experienced leadership in the White House to protect Americans’ pocketbooks and livelihoods, to support our friends and allies, to stand up to our adversaries, and to defend our interests.” A few moments later, Clinton posted another tweet about the urgency of dealing with the economic uncertainty brought about by the Brexit vote. Both are below.

Related:

What does the U.K. leaving the E.U. mean for women?

Brexit: Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon declares referendum outcome “democratically unacceptable”

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