PARIS (Reuters) - The European Union needs to change fundamentally now that British voters have decided to leave, according to Alain Juppe, a former French prime minister from the center-right and a front-runner in opinion polls ahead of the 2017 presidential election.
"We can't go on like before," Juppe said on Europe 1 radio. "We need to write a new chapter for Europe."
Juppe called the British referendum vote to leave the EU "an historic shock for Great Britain," adding that the EU needed urgently to show it could control immigration along its borders and relaunch growth to keep the confidence voters among its other members.
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"I think it would be the biggest error to let people believe that as 27 (remaining countries) we can continue as before... We need a new page, a new chapter in the history of Europe because the messages are coming from everywhere, not just Great Britain," he said.
"There's an understandable disaffection with Europe. It seems like an incomprehensible bureaucratic machine incapable of getting growth and jobs going, incapable of controlling its borders."
(Reporting by Sophie Louet; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Richard Lough)