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Brexit is ‘grave test for Europe’ – French president

A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London, Britain June 24, 2016.
A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London, Britain June 24, 2016.

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that Britain's vote to leave the EU was a "grave test for Europe" in view of the economic and financial consequences.

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"The British vote poses a grave test for Europe, which must show solidity and strength in its response to the economic and financial risks," Hollande said.

Meanwhile, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament said in the joint statement that the exit should be swift.

“Together we will address our common challenge to generate growth, increase prosperity and ensure a safe and secure environment for our citizens. The institutions will play their full role in this endeavor,” the statement reads.

“We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty.”

However, Boris Johnson, who spearheaded the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, said there was no need to rush the process of pulling out of the bloc.

"There is now no need for haste," Johnson told a London press conference in his first public comments since the results were announced.

He said the EU had been "a noble idea for its time" but was "no longer right for this country,” he said.

Elsewhere, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that a second independence vote for Scotland was "on the table" after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

"The option of a second referendum must be on the table and it is on the table," she said, adding that legislation for another vote following the one held in 2014 would be prepared when the Scottish Parliament approved it.

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