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Born and raised in Great Britain, Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney has spent the last 40 years in the U.S. He was anchoring on FBN last night as it became clear, around 11:45 p.m. ET, that the U.K. had voted in favor of leaving the European Union. So what’s the perspective of a British ex-pat who’s been in the thick of covering the vote? We asked him just before he went on the air this morning:
TVNewser: You were on the air when the results came in overnight, were you surprised by the outcome, since the Remain camp had been leading in polls?
Stuart Varney: I was surprised, because the ‘Stay’ Campaign had played the financial fear card, warning that a British exit from the EU would mean economic catastrophe. I thought that tactic would frighten British voters. It didn’t.
TVNewser: What’s the biggest near-term downside of Leave?
Varney: The dramatic declines on the financial markets. Personally, I don’t think the sell-off lasts for long. I think there will be many people looking for bargains among America’s outstanding technology stocks.
TVNewser: And what’s the biggest upside?
Varney: The shift from same-old-same-old economics. Europe has been in decline for a generation. Under President Obama, America has followed suit. The British vote should start to reverse that.
TVNewser: As an expat who’s lived in the U.S. for the last several decades, you couldn’t vote, but how would you have voted?
Varney: I would have voted to Leave. I think all countries should take control of their own borders, their own laws, and their own culture.
TVNewser: Where does this rank in terms of business news stories you’ve covered?
Varney: One of the most dramatic in my 40-year career. The repercussions are endless. I think the British vote hastens the demise of the European Union as we know it.
TVNewser: We know what the early impact is on the financial markets, but do you foresee any impact on the media industry?
Varney: The elite media have to explain how they got this so wrong. They must start to listen to people.