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Party of European Socialists deeply regrets Brexit vote, prepares for changes

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The Party of European Socialists deeply regrets the decision by the British people to vote to leave the EU. We believe that this is a massive setback for both the European Union and the UK.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: "I am truly shocked by the result of the referendum. We, the European Progressives, supported our member party - the UK Labour in their campaign for Remain. We wanted a strong Britain in a strong Europe and we were working together for a Social Britain in a Social Europe. Now we have to double our joint efforts.

We still believe that 'Remain' was the better option for both Britain and the EU, but above all, we respect the choice of the British People."

The European Socialists and Democrats family is and will continue be a close friend and ally of the UK Labour Party. We will continue to fight for equality and social justice in Europe.

"The UK referendum on the EU has taken a lot of energy out of political parties throughout the EU. It is finally behind us. Now the European Socialists and Democrats, the Labour parties and all the Progressives should be focusing on a single objective - taking the lead to move Europe closer to its people", Stanishev said.

It is time for the PES family to live up to its full potential and to start setting the political agenda in the Union. We have all seen where the austerity imposed by right wing parties has brought Europe. We are working on a roadmap to set out the EU's immediate priorities," said the president of the PES.

Stanishev announced that the next PES Council at the end of this year will be a turning point for the European Left. "We will continue the broad discussion among prime ministers, heads of state and party leaders from the PES family. We hope that every member party, every PES activist across Europe will take part in the process. We believe that this discussion will result in a positive change in Europe because the PES family has the potential to lead. This is our main goal and everyone in the progressive family - from our prime ministers to our activists - should be involved in achieving it," he said.

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