The United Kingdom is separating from the European Union (EU), after 52 percent of voters requested an exit in a referendum. Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, while the British pound value has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years.
The separation would involve years of negotiations, to determine new economic and political relationships between Britain and the 27-nation bloc. Members of the EU can do businesses through a single internal market, using the Euro as the standard currency.
Prime Minister David Cameron would resign in October after six years of service. Over the last months, he had been conducting a campaign to keep the U.K. in the EU. His successor would have to invoke Article 50, to formally request a separation.
The politician said he would do everything he can as a prime minister to lead the United Kingdom within the following months. He told reporters outside Downing Street that it would not be right for him “to try to be the captain that steers the country to its next destination.”
Thank you everyone who voted to keep Britain stronger, safer & better off in Europe – and thousands of @StrongerIn campaigners around the UK
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 23, 2016
England voted to leave the European Union, while Scotland and Northern Ireland decided to stay
72 percent of 46 million registered voters participated in the referendum. 51.9 percent voted to abandon the EU. Results variated between the 12 regions of the United Kingdom. 53.2 percent of England voters requested an exit.
Scotland and Northern Ireland showed different trends. 62 percent of Scottish voters decided to remain in the EU, while 55.7 percent of Irish voters did the same. Results have immediately impacted the world’s economy and oil prices.
The United Kingdom is the first potency to request an exit from the EU, a political-economic alliance that created a single market of 500 million people. United States President Barack Obama had shown support to British voters who had argued to remain in the EU.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 24, 2016
World’s markets are reacting to new decisions: European Central Bank has called to backstop markets
Asian and European markets dropped on Friday after referendum results were announced. The euro has fallen against the dollar, while the British pound’s value has reached its lowest level since 1985. The role of the European project and the euro is now at stake.
Economists suggest that an exit of the EU would lead Britain to an economic recession. London would have to reinvent its place as a global financial center. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney said The Treasury is “well prepared” for new changes, as reported by The Associated Press (AP).
The Bank of England has engaged in “extensive contingency planning,” added Carney. By contrast, the European Central Bank has called economists to backstop markets. Japan’s Nikkei index fell by 7.92 percent on Friday, the lowest level in 16 years.
The Swiss National Bank said it “has intervened in the foreign exchange market,” to contribute to the stabilization of the economy, as reported by the New York Times.
— Bloomberg (@business) June 24, 2016
World leaders have talked: EU president, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, celebrities
The European Union President Donald Tusk recognized on Friday that previous years “have been the most difficult” in the history of the 28-nation alliance. He mentioned a story of his childhood, adding that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” as reported by AP.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin that the EU “is strong enough to give the right answers to today.” The political leader, who supports the Britain’s role in the EU, made a call on Friday to calm.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) June 24, 2016
United States President Barack Obama said, “the special relationship” between the European nation and the United States will not be affected by their exit from the EU. He stated that citizens have taken a decision and America respects it.
“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland, and the world,” Obama was quoted as saying by Politico.
The presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump said the world would be more “peaceful and stable” with the United States and the United Kingdom “united together.” He stated that if he is elected president he would strengthen ties with the independent Britain.
America is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder w/a free & ind UK. We stand together as friends, as allies, & as a people w/a shared history.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2016
“Come November; the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite,” said Mr. Trump in a statement issued on Facebook.
The UK’s decision has impacted the public opinion worldwide, people on social media and celebrities have already expressed their views. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter saga, said on Twitter she is disappointed at the referendum results.
Scotland will seek independence now. Cameron's legacy will be breaking up two unions. Neither needed to happen. https://t.co/4MDj7pndcq
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 24, 2016
Scotland is planning to abandon the UK: It also wants to be part of the EU
Scotland is already planning to hold a new referendum to leave the United Kingdom, according to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. 62 percent of voters in the country decided to remain in the EU. Political leaders at the Scottish National Party said they will be removed from the 28-nation bloc against their vote.
Nationalists in Scotland have announced plans to eliminate nuclear weapons from their territory, after four years of declaring their independence. London would be obligated to relocate arms in different areas. This nuclear plans would cost billions to the U.K’s economy.
Other European countries would be considering to follow the U.K.’s steps. Leaders in the Netherlands are already conducting opinion polls, to determine if they need to carry out a referendum.
— The SNP (@theSNP) June 24, 2016
Source: The Associated Press