EU Referendum

'Britannia waives the rules': The EU Brexit in quotes

There have been tense and bitter exchanges in the European Parliament following Britain's vote to to leave the European Union. Below are some of the key quotes from Tuesday's session.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

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Media captionShouts greeted Jean-Claude Juncker as he said "I am not a robot, I am not a bureaucrat"

Mr Juncker is under pressure following the vote, with some calls for him to stand down.

"Europe isn't exclusively a cerebral affair. Obviously we have to think but equally when you're sad, it's acceptable to be sad and I am sad after this vote in the UK and I make no secret of it. The British vote has cut off one of our wings, as it were, but we're still flying."

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP)

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For the UKIP leader, a central figure in the Leave campaign and long-term EU critic, it was a moment to enjoy.

"Funny, isn't it. You know, when I came here 17 years ago, and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me. Well I have to say, you're not laughing now are you?"

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the EU Liberal group

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Mr Verhofstadt tore into Mr Farage over the use of a controversial poster showing long queues of migrants. Asked later why he was so rude to Mr Farage, he said he "asked for it".

"What makes it so hard for the way it succeeded. The absolutely negative campaign. Mr Farage's posters showing refugees like in Nazi propaganda, which he copied at that moment. I never thought it was possible that somebody in this house should do a thing like that."

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right French National Front

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Ms Le Pen hailed the British vote, and now wants French voters to have their chance to choose.

"The British have chosen a route which it was thought was closed for all time and you were some of those who believed it was closed. Those who said 'It's all irreversible, the European Union is irreversible', well, the British people have told you where to get off."

Martina Anderson, MEP for Irish republican party Sinn Fein

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Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the EU. The vote could mean major changes to security on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

"If English votes drag us out of the EU that would be like Britannia waives the rules. There was a democratic vote. We voted to remain. I tell you that the last thing that the people of Ireland need is an EU border with 27 member states stuck right in the middle of it."

Alyn Smith, MEP for the Scottish National Party

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Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay part of the EU, raising the possibility of another vote on Scottish independence.

"We will need cool heads and warm hearts but please remember this - Scotland did not let you down. I beg you: do not let Scotland down now."

*A previous version of this article contained comments by Jean-Claude Juncker that were incorrectly attributed to Dianne Dodds, MEP for Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party

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