David Cameron resigns in the wake of UK’s momentous decision to leave EU

24 Jun 2016
Financial Nigeria


Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, while England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit.

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the European Council

David Cameron has resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as the country takes a momentous decision to leave the European Union, the economic union that is made up of 28 member countries.

In a historic referendum, the United Kingdom voted on Thursday, June 23, to leave the EU after 43 years in the union. Results from 382 local voting areas show that the "leave" campaign got 51.9 percent of the total votes while the "remain" got 48.1 percent of the votes, according to the BBC.

Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, a right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom, said it is "independence day" for the UK. Farage has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU.

The EU is currently made up of more than 500 million people who are free to study, work and live in any one of the member countries, thereby creating the biggest single market in the world. According to the World Bank, the EU's GDP in 2014 was $18.51 trillion at market prices. Britain is EU's second largest economy, after Germany, with a GDP of $2.99 trillion as of 2014.

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, while England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit.

Those who voted for Britain to remain in the EU have warned about political and economic consequences of the Brexit referendum.

The stock market in London has plunged more than 8 percent on Friday in the wake of the referendum. The value of the British pound has also depreciated by more than 12 percent, a 31-year low.

The Bank of England had warned earlier in June that Brexit would have "risks of adverse spill-overs to the global economy." The country’s GDP growth rate also slowed to 0.4 per cent in Q1 of 2016, down from 0.6 percent in Q4 of 2015, as fears of a recession loom over the uncertainty of Brexit.    

Some commentators have also said Brexit could also trigger a wave of exits throughout the EU. Scotland, which voted in a referendum to leave the UK in 2014, has declared its intention to remain in EU. The country's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that the EU vote "makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.”

Marine Le Pen, president of France’s conservative National Front party, declared the UK referendum’s result makes it necessary for a similar referendum to hold in France and other EU countries.

In a brief statement outside Downing Street on Friday morning after the final result was announced, Cameron said he will step down by October.

According to some reports, the process of Britain leaving the EU could take a minimum of two years.

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