Britain has opted to go it alone. British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he will resign after voters chose 52% to 48% to leave the 28-member bloc, in a referendum with high levels of turnout. The vote follows a bitterly-fought campaign, exposing rifts in British society that will take time to heal.
The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar in 30 years, but the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, was quick to announce measures intended to ease volatility. Nevertheless, he cautioned that there would be a period of “uncertainty and adjustment” as a new deal is negotiated over the coming years.
Cameron has declined to activate the formal exit mechanism in Article 50 of the EU treaties, arguing that it would be better for his successor to chose the timing. Leave campaigners suggested Britain could still remain a temporary member of the EU until the next UK parliamentary elections in 2020. So, this is likely to be a slow-moving divorce.
Plenty of questions remain. Will the dire predictions of a recession and an “emergency budget” turn out to have been nothing but referendum scaremongering? Who will be Cameron’s successor, and who will lead the negotiations? Will the UK be able to secure a trade deal with the EU without freedom of movement? Will more countries follow Britain’s lead and opt for referendums of their own?
Britain voted for Brexit… what now? What are some of the questions that still need answering? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!