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A leave supporter is seen as fishing boats campaigning for Brexit sail down the Thames through central London, United Kingdom on June 15, 2016.(Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

PM Lee: Brexit reflects anxiety of British population over immigration and relationship with EU

The United Kingdom has voted leave the European Union (EU) by a vote of 52% to 48% on 24 June 2016 in its referendum to decide whether to leave or remain in the EU.

According to the results, Votes to leave the EU won the majority of votes in England and Wales, while every council in Scotland saw votes to remain in as majorities of the votes.

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In response to the results of the referendum, Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong posted his views on his Facebook page.

Below is his full statement posted on his Facebook page.

The UK vote to leave the European Union (EU) in the Brexit referendum is a turning point. It reflects the anxiety of the British population over immigration, their resentment at having to negotiate with and accommodate European partners, and their desire to assert British identity and sovereignty.

Other developed countries also face similar challenges as Britain. We all live in a globalised, interdependent world. The desire to disengage, to be less constrained by one’s partners, to be free to do things entirely as one chooses, is entirely understandable. And yet in reality for many countries disengaging and turning inwards will likely lead to less security, less prosperity, and a dimmer future.The next few years will be uncertain ones for Britain and Europe. Leaving the EU is as complicated as joining it. What new arrangements will be made? Will Brexit hurt investor confidence more broadly, and the global economy? How will Britain’s leaving affect the rest of the EU? How will this affect us, living in Asia but part of the same globalised world?

It is too early to tell, but we need to watch developments carefully. Nobody can foresee all the consequences of the Brexit.

The British voters have decided. We wish Britain well. I wish David Cameron well too, who has been a good friend of Singapore and has announced his intention to resign as PM.

Singapore will continue to cultivate our ties with Britain, which is a long standing friend and partner. We hope in time the uncertainty will diminish, and we will make the best of the new reality.