BELGRADE – Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday said he regretted Britain’s decision to leave the EU, calling it a “sad day for Europe”, TheLocal.de reports.
The Leave campaign won the referendum on Thursday with a vote of 52 percent to 48 percent, according to the BBC.
Voter turnout reached 72 percent with over 30 million casting in their ballots.
Germany had been pushing for Britain to stay with Steinmeier previously saying that Britain leaving could lead to the “disintegration” of the EU.
EU Parliament President Martin Schulz said after the results came in that he would speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel “on how we can avoid a chain reaction” of other EU states following.
“The chain reaction that is being celebrated everywhere now by euroskeptics won’t happen,” he said.
The EU was the biggest single market in the world and “Great Britain has just cut its ties with that market,” Schulz said.
“That’ll have consequences and I don’t believe other countries will be encouraged to follow that dangerous path.”
“I am not shocked,” he said of the results of the British referendum, adding: “We were prepared.”
Earlier this month, Chancellor Angela Merkel also expressed her personal wishes for Britain to remain, warning that otherwise they could lose their influence.
“I personally hope and wish that Britain will stay part and parcel of the European Union,” Merkel said at the time.
“You can much better have an influence on the debate when you sit at the bargaining table and you can give input,” she added.