British expats in Dubai show mixed reactions over UK leave vote

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Dubai, June 24 (IANS) British residents living in the UAE shared their views on Friday shortly after the referendum outcome pointed to a victory of the “Leave the European Union” camp.

“This is really bad news,” said Dan, a Briton in his 40s who queued with his daughter in a telecom shop in Dubai’s Ibn Battuta Mall.

“I was hoping for a Bremain vote, that the voters would opt for the United Kingdom not leaving, because I believe that Britain should be strong with the EU and that our government can have an impact on the EU’s decisions,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

Over 150,000 British expats live in the UAE as the biggest Western expat group. Both countries have historically strong political and economic relations.

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Before the UAE became independent in 1971, the seven sheikhdoms which form the Gulf state were so-called “Trucial States” of the Britain.

Dan said he expects markets to calm down in the coming days.

Stock markets in Britain, Europe and Asia plummeted early Friday as markets were taken by surprise by the 51.9 per cent of the Brexit camp.

Asked if he expects Scotland to go for another referendum to split from the UK as 67 per cent of the Scots opted to remain in the Union, Dan said: “Absolutely! I would be surprised if Scotland remains in the UK, and to be honest I think they deserve independence. I would even expect Wales to leave one day.”

Ruth, a British lady in her 30s who just changed cash at a money exchange counter in the same mall, said: “The pound sterling plummeted to a 30-year low, so I am happy that I get more money for my holiday back home.”

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Peter D., a pensioner who lives in the UAE, said: “The outcome is fantastic. This was the most democratic vote against the most undemocratic institution which is the EU Commission in Brussels, a non-elected body which takes decisions against the peoples of Europe.”

While he expects the British economy to suffer at first, he said: “I am sure we will recover soon and my grand children will always remember June 23, 2016 as the day when Britain was liberated from the corrupt EU dictatorship. It is a short-term pain, long-term gain for us.”



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