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David Cameron resigns as Brexit becomes reality

British people are waking up to find out not only that Britain will be leaving the European Union but that Prime Minister David Cameron will resign.

What happens now

Nobody really knows yet, with the shape and the timeline of Britain’s exit yet to be outlined. However, Prime Minister David Cameron declared that he will resign after having campaigned strongly for the UK to remain in the EU, and uncertainty about what will happen next is gripping the country and much of the world.

What the vote means

The vote highlights the regional divisions within the country, as Scotland and Northern Ireland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, whilst the English vote was to leave. This has led to speculation that Scotland will hold an independence referendum, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon telling the BBC that “Scotland clearly and decisively voted to remain“.

Within England the hotspots of Europskeptics are regions such as the North East and the East. On the other hand, the capital London voted strongly to remain. On the streets of the country’s principal city there is palpable disbelief at the decision.

The British pound dropped to a 30-year low during the night due to uncertainty over what will happen next, and stock exchanges across the world opened lower than they closed yesterday. Furthermore, the Euro also slumped by more than 3 per cent against the US dollar.

 

cameron resigns
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minster’s office, announcing his resignation © Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Europe’s reaction

European leaders such as Angela Merkel have expressed their anguish at the result. Leaders from around the world, including US President Obama, had strongly called for Britain to remain as they argued that it made for a stronger Europe.

Furthermore, many warn that the vote will inspire leave campaigners across Europe to push for other countries to follow the British example. This is a hard blow at a time when Europe is facing major challenges such as the influx of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa, and the economic crisis that is still being felt in nations such as Greece. The cracks in the Union are becoming increasingly visible as divisions are being magnified by Brexit.

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