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San Diego Brits, Officials React To Brexit Vote

"I'm just dismayed. I can't believe it happened," said Christopher Scott-Dixon, a lawyer from England who's been living in San Diego for the past 15 years.

Scott-Dixon spoke to KPBS Midday Edition Friday after voters in the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union.

As NPR reported, the referendum vote was decisive with 52 percent of voters in favor of ending the U.K.'s membership in the European Union — rattling global markets and pushing Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation.


"I think people are scared of the amount of immigrants that are coming to the U.K.," Scott-Dixon said. "It's like having the president, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, every economic think tank going, 'This is a really bad idea. We're not doing it.' Then the public doing it anyway."

RELATED: A Guide To Britain’s ‘Brexit’ Vote

But not all San Diegans expressed such disappointment in the so-called Brexit.

Another expatriate in San Diego, Selina Stockley, who owns the Shakespeare's Corner Shoppe and Afternoon Tea in Mission Hills, told Midday Edition that she supports the U.K.'s decision.

Originally from Surrey, England, she's lived in San Diego for 23 years.


"My belief is that (the U.K.) lost control of what we can do and run our own country there," Stockley said. "We need our control back. And that we need to be able to govern our own borders and pay our own benefits and not just have someone telling us what we can and can't do."

Rep. Darrell Issa and port officials react

Rep. Darrell Issa, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the decision would not change the relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.

Port of San Diego, January 28, 2011.
Grauke/O / Flickr
Port of San Diego, January 28, 2011.

"The vote last night was historic, but it won't change the special friendship we have with our allies in the U.K.," the Republican from Vista said. "In a democracy, the people have the right to chart their own future. The people have made a decision and I respect it."

Issa added: "I look forward to bolstering our trade relationship, working together on shared issues of national security and strengthening the historic ties that bind our two nations."

A spokeswoman for the Port of San Diego said port officials are committed to ensuring continued open trade with the U.K. and Europe.

"The port will closely monitor the process following this vote and its impact on international trade," spokeswoman Marguerite Elicon said. "A portion of the port's maritime business is connected to trade with Europe, including automobiles, fertilizer, machinery, wind components and other project cargo."

Elicon said the port does not expect "immediate impacts on this business segment, and we are committed to keeping trade with Europe viable."

A spokesman for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said there would be no statement coming from the mayor's office regarding the historic vote. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce also declined to comment.