EU referendum: Gisela Stuart says UK is an "open, welcoming country" after Brexit vote

James Nickerson
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Boris Johnson And Gisela Stuart Aboard The Leave Campaign Bus
Stuart had been a key part of the Vote Leave campaign (Source: Getty)

The UK is an open and welcoming country, a top pro-Leave campaigner has said, after voters opted for Brexit.

Speaking to an audience in Manchester, Labour MP Gisela Stuart said that the people had spoken, and sparked an opportunity to take back control.

She said: "33m people went to the ballot box and made a democratic decision, they reflected on our 40 years history of the European Union and by a majority they have decided to leave. I think that is democracy at work and it is our opportunity to take back control over a whole area of democratic decisions.

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"What happens now has to be a cross party effort because we have a responsibility to act in the best long-term interest of our country," she added.

"Britain is an open society, it is a welcoming society, and we will continue to be cooperating with European countries on an international leave, but this is an important decision about our future and it is about the people who have taken that decision.

"It is now incumbent on all of us to be very calm, remember that our responsibility is to the future of the United Kingdom and work together to start a process of initiating leaving the EU and in long run I think we will find that both Europe and the UK will emerge stronger as a result of this."

Read more: Tendring, where Ukip's only Westminster seat is, votes Leave

Stuart was the first Labour politician to make a statement, after an agreement with the leadership of the party.

Speaking after her official speech, Stuart said: "We are an open, welcoming country. This is not about being closed. It is about democracy and control. We will succeed because we are open and because we are a functioning liberal democracy, and functioning liberal democracies are strong."

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon earlier released a statement to say that the people of Scotland had shown they believe their future lies in the EU, indicating Scotland may push for a second independence referendum.

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