PM David Cameron to resign after UK votes to leave the EU in referendum that could seal the fate of the union.
The United Kingdom has shocked the world by cutting ties with the European Union in a surprising result Friday that threw financial markets into turmoil and forced Britain’s prime minister to resign.
Britain has voted to leave the European Union. The official results were announced on Friday in a historic referendum by a margin of 52% to 48%.
The vote is perhaps the most dramatic to date in a wave of populist and nationalist uprisings occurring on both sides of the Atlantic that are overturning traditional notions of what is politically possible.
It also will have a profound effect on the European Union, which will lose a major military and diplomatic power within its ranks. “This looks to be a sad day for Europe and for Britain,” said Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
British and European leaders now have to a lengthy and painstaking process to negotiate the terms of Britain’s future relationship with the EU. At the same time, EU leaders will have to consider reforms to discourage other EU members from following Britain’s lead.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron to resign after Britain votes to leave EU
Britain prepares for economic shock after breaking with the European Union
The Bank of England said on Friday it would take all necessary steps to shield Britain’s economy from the shock decision by voters to pull the country out of the European Union which caused immediate turmoil on financial markets.
Quitting the EU could cost Britain access to the EU’s trade barrier-free single market and mean it must seek new trade accords with countries around the world. The United Kingdom itself could break apart, with leaders in Scotland — where nearly two-thirds of voters wanted to stay in the EU — calling for a new vote on independence.
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 UN Security Council veto and powerful army. In one go, the bloc will lose around a sixth of its economic output. Populist leaders in France and the Netherlands demanded their own referendums to leave.
EU to assess its future next week without UK
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Union Council, says that leaders will meet without Britain at a summit next week. “We are determined to keep our unity as 27 … I will propose that we start a period of wider reflection on the future of our union,” he said, adding: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
“There is no hiding the fact that we wanted a different outcome of yesterday’s referendum,” Donald Tusk said in Brussels on Friday.