The results are in! The “Brexit” referendum closed its polling stations at 22:00 last night, and Britain will be leaving the EU. The question now is how, and when.
The news is having immediate economic effects as people inside and outside the UK seek to rid themselves of their British pounds in anticipation of an economic crash. As a result, the pound is already at its lowest value in 30 years, just hours after the news broke.
An emotional Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would be stepping down to allow a new anti-EU government to lead the country out of the economic union.
As a consequence of the vote, the new British prime minister will invoke article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty triggering a 2-year long exit process. The negotiations that take place during this time will determine Britain’s role in Europe after the break and will have an enormous impact on its economic relevance on the world stage after the break is completed.
More immediately, this Euro-sceptic success for the nationalist right wing is already emboldening similar movements in the Netherlands, France, Greece, Italy, and other EU countries. While it’s far too soon to say with certainty whether this will trigger more referendums in other member states, it’s a concern that’s being echoed by politicians, pundits, and activists all over social media.
What About Scotland?
Scotland voted to remain in the UK in 2015, in large part because of the economic stability that EU membership offered. Scotland overwhelmingly voted against Brexit in the referendum and several prominent Scottish politicians have indicated that they see Scotland’s future as “belonging with the EU”. This could herald instability on a national level within the UK, as well as the waves that Brexit is already making in the EU at large.
What are your thoughts about Brexit? Let us know in the comments!