Britain Votes to Leave European Union in Historic Brexit Vote
Early Friday morning, officials from Britain announced the decision to leave the European Union, which has caused a domino effect that includes the nation’s prime minister stepping down, markets across the world to slump and questions about the stability of the rest of the EU.
According to NBCNews.com, the results of the voting included 17.4 million votes for Britain to leave the European Union—or “Brexit” as it’s been dubbed—and 16.1 million to remain with the EU. The final vote ended at 51.9 percent for leaving and 48.1 percent for remaining.
In the wake of the decision to leave the EU, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would step down. He told the media that the nation needs new fresh leadership, and he didn’t think it would be smart “for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”
As a result of the vote, the British pound dropped to $1.35 (its lowest level since 1985), and has raised many questions about what the future holds for the rest of the EU. No nation had ever left the EU before the Brexit vote.
The EU was already dealing with problems regarding its refugee crisis and economic woes, but now the union must move forward without a major economic powerhouse as part of the coalition.
Supporters of the Brexit decision—including U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage—said that the vote was “a victory for ordinary people, against the big banks, big business and big politics.”
The vote has caused major issues already for economies across the world due to the uncertainty surrounding what happens next for the EU. Experts also warn that Britain’s decision to depart may cause other nations to consider leaving the European Union as well.
Scotland voted to stay in the EU, and the country’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the government would propose legislation for a potential referendum on independence, as the country wanted to stay with the EU and has been removed “against our will.”
EU President Donald Tusk said that Britain’s exit was a major blow, but that the other 27 countries still with the union need to stand together in this trying time. The EU assembly has also set an emergency session for next week.
Officials from the United States, including President Barack Obama, urged British voters to remain in the EU, and questions have risen about how the relationship between the U.S. and Britain will be impacted. House Speaker Paul Ryan and presidential candidate Donald Trump believe the relationship between the nations will remain unchanged.
While the Brexit vote has resulted in many questions, supporters of the decision to leave the EU believe it’s a positive move that the world’s fifth-largest economy will be able to thrive on its own without the EU rules and regulations.
Britain’s removal from the EU will take a minimum of two years to be completed, and what the future holds for the European Union remains uncertain.
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