Brexit: International views



While the British media pores over, analyses, and pulls apart every second of the past seven days, what do those outside the UK make of events?

Look no further – CNC has compiled a grab bag of articles from across Europe and around the world, each providing a different perspective on the impact of Brexit.

The view from Brussels:

Belgium’s Flemish-language media has slated referenda as the blunt tool of democratic spectacle in Europe. De Standaard writes that, in such campaigns, facts are subordinated to beliefs, and rational arguments to emotions.

Read: Leve het referendum!

The francophone Belgian media highlighted the EU Commission for Trade’s view that Brexit is the product of decades of British hostility towards the EU:

Read: Le Brexit lié à des “décennies” d’hostilité envers l’UE au Royaume-Uni

… and also reported on an ‘explosion’ in British applications for Belgian nationality:

Watch: Vidéo – Les demandes de nationalité belge des Britanniques explosent après le Brexit


The perspective from the EU:

In France, Le Monde commented on the “incredible unpreparedness of Boris Johnson” and the sudden urge not to move hastily. The paper quotes Alistair Darling’s summary of the situation in the 2008 financial crisis: “We’ve got no government, no opposition. The people who put us in this mess have fled.”

Read : l’incroyable impréparation du vainqueur Boris Johnson

Germany’s former chancellor, Helmut Kohl, has warned European leaders against a hasty response to Brexit:

Read: Helmut Kohl mahnt nach Brexit-Referendum Besonnenheit an

Finland’s Chief of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs gave her view on Russia’s interpretation of the situation in Europe from a security perspective:

Read: Expert: Brexit boon for Russia

In The Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte warned the EU not to react by focusing on the big reform plans that France, Italy, Portugal and Greece have in mind, but instead to deliver on promises already made. Europe must concentrate on growth and security, and address people’s sense that they are part of something enormous they cannot control:

Read: Wordt de EU nu wat socialer?

Spain’s media have focused on the false promises made during the campaign, from assurances that Cameron would not resign, increased funding for the NHS, and controls on immigration, to name but a few:

Read: Las promesas rotas del ‘Brexit’

There are also reports on the Spanish government’s announcement of a bid to host the new HQ of the European Banking Authority:

Read: El Gobierno intentará traer la sede de la EBA y los bancos de City a España

In Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven shut the door on the Leave campaign’s demands for free access to the European single market without free EU migration. “They want to have rights but no obligations. It will not happen.”

Read: Löfvens svar till Boris Johnson: Det kommer inte att ske

In Austria, the finance and foreign minister announced plans to woo London-based international firms and organisations to Vienna. Die Presse reports on their planned roadshow to London in September, supported by advertising and social media campaigns.

Read: Wie Österreich vom Brexit profitieren soll


Rest of the world:

In the USA, the New York Times laid out the anticipated impact on the British, European and American economies.

Read: The Brexit Spillover

In Russia, the Finance Ministry said Brexit does not create serious risks for the Russian economy, even though the outcome of the referendum reduces the risk appetite of investors.

Read: Russia Reacts to Brexit Referendum

In China, Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming stressed that Sino-UK relations will remain strong despite Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Read: China-UK ties to remain strong despite Brexit, envoy says

Economists at the Summer Davos World Economic Forum in China expressed the view that Brexit will weaken the euro’s status and gives the Chinese yuan an opportunity to become a more ‘internationalised currency’. Furthermore, a senior international market researcher at the Ministry of Commerce stated that Brexit has made the UK less attractive to Chinese companies.

Read : China least affected by Brexit fallout

In Japan, the government worries that Brexit could deal a body blow to ‘Abenomics’ – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s troubled flagship economic policy. There are fears the vote could throw the virtuous circle of a soft yen and rising stock prices into reverse.

Read: Tokyo wary of Brexit vote’s impact on Abenomics

The United Arab Emirates is home to many expats, and an important economic partner for the UK – so it comes as no surprise the Emirati media has been tracking Brexit news, closely reporting on events from the British Isles. However, it was the Romanian’s sympathetic response to the Brexit vote which particularly caught their eye.

Read: ‘Adopt a Brit’ drive in Romania’


And finally….

Switzerland’s Federal Council is ‘dumbfounded,’ according to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. The paper emphasised Brexit’s significant ramifications for Switzerland’s 2014 freedom of movement and residence agreement with the EU and the current Swiss need for some post-Brexit direction from the country’s ‘Bundesrat’.

Read: Sprachloser Bundesrat

In Norway, conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg, worried about the political consequences of Brexit, which she thinks will result in ”a more introverted Europe”.

Read: Solberg bekymret for konsekvensene av Brexit

Richard Rigby

Richard Rigby

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