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Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit
Photo: AFP

Mixed reaction from the French as UK votes for Brexit

AFP/The Local · 24 Jun 2016, 17:13

Published: 24 Jun 2016 17:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Jun 2016 17:13 GMT+02:00

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France has shown a divided response to the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU, although a vocal majority (online at least) appear to have been pleased. 
A survey of newspaper Le Figaro's readers found on Friday morning that most respondents in France were satisfied with the result of the vote. 
The screengrab below shows that 68 percent of the more than 10,000 people surveyed were satisfied with the result, compared to 32 percent who weren't. 
And this majority was the most vocal on Twitter on Friday, as many French vented their anger - as well as predictable digs at "Les Anglais" - over the Brexit vote.
The hashtag #BonDebarras - Good Riddance - spoke for itself, but one user sniped: "Les Anglais are beginning to realise that most Europeans are delighted that they are splitting."
Other snarky tweets recalled that Britain had always had an arm's-length relationship with the European Union, having opted out of the euro, the visa-free Schengen zone and the Common Agricultural Policy.
"Have they ever really been part of the EU?" one asked.
'Today it's hard not to feel ashamed to be British'
Said another: "They were a pain in the ass when they wanted in, now they're a pain in the ass going out: The English are the cats of Europe."
In the midst of the Euro 2016 football championship, with a possible quarter-final showdown looming between England and France, many questioned whether the English side still had a right to take part.
"Let's kick out the England team. They don't have visas," one user said.
The inevitable references to British cuisine included one tweet posting a picture of Marmite, calling it "a little something the English can keep all for themselves".
"The English... vote like they cook, it's diabolical," another said.
A photo captioned "Brexit in one picture", below, showed a table laden with an abundance of European noshes including a French pastry, German sausage and Italian pasta, with a plate of baked beans off in a corner.
Using the age-old French term of endearment for the English -- Les Rosbifs, an approximation of roast beef -- another Twitternaut wrote: "To celebrate this historic British referendum day I've enjoyed the traditional feast of Les Rosbifs: curry."
One tweet stood out as a reminder of why the English and the French have been entwined in a love-hate relationship for centuries.
"The English are really a proud and stupid people. You'd think they were French."
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There was also some positive reactions and showings of support. 
"It's a sad day," wrote one French Tweeter. "The thought that France could do the same thing under the National Front in 2017 is distressing."
Other French people, particularly those living in the UK, were less impressed. 
"British people don’t realise that this is an error that is going to destroy the solidarity between European countries," Charlotte Buton, a Frenchwoman who has been living in London for the past two years.
"I don't see anything positive coming from Brexit, neither on a social, economic or cultural level," another Frenchwoman, who preferred to be unnamed, said.  
"I am deeply convinced that British people have voted out of anger and not ignorance of the negative economic impact."

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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