Sunday 22 April 2018

Europeans shocked but adopt a 'wait and see' stance on what comes next

Ciaran Hickey from Dublin and Andrew West from Mayo in Paris yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Ciaran Hickey from Dublin and Andrew West from Mayo in Paris yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

EUROPEANS have insisted that Britain's shock vote to quit the EU will have no major impact on ordinary life or existing travel arrangements.

Commuters and holidaymakers in Paris yesterday admitted that the Brexit vote, while an enormous shock, would not dramatically impact on the lives of ordinary Europeans or spell doom for the EU.

Valerie Cairala said she believed that very little would change. "I don't think things will change at all," she said beside the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

"If there are changes, I don't think we will see them until maybe 10 years' time.

"But I don't think it will mean anything for ordinary people or for travel."

Irish fans travelling to Euro 16 said it was too early to gauge the consequences of the Brexit vote.

Ciarán Hickey from Dublin and Andrew West from Mayo, who were travelling to Lyon for Ireland's Euro 16 clash with France, admitted that they had no idea what would happen now.

"I just don't know. It was a big surprise. Like everyone else, I thought it was going to be a 'Remain' vote. But the Brexit vote took everyone by surprise," Ciarán said.

Both admitted that the greatest concern from an Irish perspective would be any economic consequences and, critically, the border arrangements with the UK over Northern Ireland.

"I just don't know. I don't think anyone really knows at this point what is going to happen next," Andrew said.

Germans, for so long the bedrock of the EU, insisted the union would not end with the shock British vote.

Nikita Grnjak and Jan Struebing from Hamburg in Germany admitted they were shocked by the vote to leave after so many had urged the UK to remain within the EU.

"I don't think it will spell the end of the EU. I believe other countries will stay," Nikita said.

"There are too many countries in it. It is just too big a union. Other countries may leave now but I don't think it will end."

French national Pierre Wilpart said he believed EU countries would want to work with the UK to minimise the impact of Brexit for Europe and other EU member states.

"I certainly don't think it will be the end of the EU," he said.

"Maybe it is a good thing. Because now we will know what happens to the EU when a country says 'No' to Europe. But we don't know what is going to happen."

Irish embassies throughout the EU are not commenting on the Brexit vote as the Government Information Service (GIS) co-ordinates the Irish response.

in Paris

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business