British press divided over 'earthquake' EU vote

An arrangement of newspapers pictured in London on June 24.
An arrangement of newspapers pictured in London on June 24.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Reflecting the divided nature of the country, Britain's newspapers were Saturday (June 25) polarised over the "Brexit earthquake", some calling it the "birth of a new Britain," others asking "what the hell happens now?" while the high-selling eurosceptic title the Daily Mail splashed across its front page "Take a bow, Britain!" .

"It was the day the quiet people of Britain rose up against an arrogant, out-of-touch political class and a contemptuous Brussels elite," the Daily Mail added.

"In a magnificent affirmation of national self-belief and character, their resounding message to the elite was: 'We are fed up with being disdained and ignored over the issues about which we feel strongly'," said its leading article.

Fellow pro-Brexit title the Daily Express carried the headline "We're out of the EU", calling it a "glorious victory", while the Times called it a "Brexit earthquake".

 

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Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph hailed the "birth of a new Britain" on its front page.

"June 23 2016 will be remembered forever as the day the British voted to retake control of their own country," said its editorial.

"While many people are understandably worried for their futures, not least after witnessing early volatility on the markets and exchanges, there is every reason to be optimistic," it added.

However, the pro-EU Daily Mirror struck a sombre tone, asking "what the hell happens now?" on its front page while the Guardian wrote "Over. And out" above a picture of departing Prime Minister David Cameron.

"The country has embarked on a perilous journey in which our politics and our economy must be transformed," said the Guardian's editorial.

"That will demand the kind of debate about our alliances that we have not had since the Suez crisis forced a post-imperial reality on Britain," it added.

Top-selling title The Sun focused on Cameron's decision to quit in the wake of his humiliating defeat, leading with the headline "Why should I do all the hard s**t?" Cameron apparently made the remark to an aide, explaining that he would leave the tortuous break-up negotiations to those who campaigned against him.

The paper put the shock result down to the "rage of the working classes." "It was a howl of rage at the increasing hopelessness of their lives, their neglected communities and the gulf between them and the rich, powerful governing class which this Referendum has so starkly exposed," it said.

"Liberals champion all disadvantaged people EXCEPT poor Brits. For them, they cannot hide their contempt," it added.

The prospect of another Scottish referendum dominated newspapers north of the border, with the Scottish Daily Mail carrying the headline "Disunited Kingdom".