"The British people decided, sovereignly, that the United Kingdom should no longer continue to integrate into the European Union, which can only bring sadness to us," the statement began.

"We should respect with serenity the decision of the majority of the British people in the certainty that the European project remains valid in the defence of the values that have, already for many centuries, shaped our common identity," the statement continued.

"Portugal, as has happened for the last 30 years, should continue to remain committed to the ideals of peace, liberty, democracy, wellbeing and shared development that are at the heart of the European construction as a central axis to the national vision and strategy for the future of the Portuguese and our country," said the Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa signed statement before adding that such ideas needed “rethinking and strengthening.”

The President also expressed his expectation that the decision would not jeopardise the prospects of the Portuguese community resident in the United Kingdom and promised his continued attention and support in defence of their interests.

Lusa spoke Friday to Iolanda Banu Viegas, Councillor of the Portuguese Communities living in Wrexham, Wales who said that the local association had received an “immense numbers of calls” from Portuguese immigrants but that “for the majority of the questions, I do not know how to respond” before adding her shock at no longer feeling the British community wanted them there.

Viegas described a generalised sense of persons fearing for their futures both due to the economic prospects and the campaign focus on immigration undermining their sense of local belonging.