Britain votes to leave the EU, David Cameron resigns
Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and sending shock-waves throughout Europe.
The vote will initiate several years of divorce proceedings with the EU, the first exit by any member state.
Global financial markets plunged as results from Thursday’s referendum showed 52% of those who voted in favour of leaving.
Sterling fell more than 10% against the dollar to levels last seen in 1985; its biggest one-day fall in history, on fears the decision could affect the world’s fifth-largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital and usher in years of political uncertainty.
David Cameron, who led the “Remain” campaign said he would resign as prime minister by October.
“The British people have made the very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” he said outside his Downing Street office.
“I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”
Quitting the EU could cost Britain access to the EU’s single market and mean it must seek new trade agreements with countries around the world.
The United Kingdom itself could fragment, with leaders in Scotland calling for a new vote on independence after nearly two thirds of its voters wanted to remain in the EU.
The EU for its part will be economically and politically damaged, facing the departure not only of its most free-market proponent but also a member with a U.N. Security Council veto and powerful army.
Source – Reuters