As a result of the referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron, who championed the remain vote, announced his upcoming resignation and hoped a new prime minister would be in place by October.[related_stories]
“The people have voted to leave the European Union, and their will must be respected,” Cameron said Friday. “I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”
The British exit will cost the European Union one of its wealthiest members and one of its biggest military powers.
While Britain has voted to leave, the country is not out of the E.U. yet. Senior E.U. officials have stated that the U.K. should immediately follow Article 50 as part of the process by which a member state leaves the E.U. The Article states that the U.K. would negotiate and settle arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union, the Washington Post reports. The leaving member will be given two years to comply.
Looking ahead, this Brexit vote could trigger another Scotland referendum on breaking away from the United Kingdom. A 2014 referendum on Scottish independence resulted in the country remaining with the U.K., but the results were largely contingent on E.U. membership.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was elected on a platform that vowed to revisit independence should the country be “taken out of the EU against our will,” CNN reports.
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