The British have decided. The United Kingdom will leave the EU after 43 years.In yesterday’s referendum about 33.5 mln British citizens voted either for or against Brexit, the turnout being 71.8% – the highest since 1992 election. Exactly 17,410,742 people voted pro-leave (51.89%).
England and Wales voted strongly for Brexit. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland preferred to stay in the EU.
For now the UK still remains a member of the EU. The leaving process will begin and will probably last a couple of years, it has to be negotiated with the remaining members of the Union. The government will also have to negotiate its future relationship with the EU and trade deals with non-EU countries.
Before, more than 30 years ago, only Greenland, as an autonomous part of Denmark, left the EU, so Britain will now have to explore uncharted territory.
Already Brexit has had an effect on the markets. The pound is at its lowest against the US dollar since 1985.
There’s also the question of David Cameron’s leadership. The prime minister declared he would keep his post even in the case of Leave, but he actually might be forced to resign.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage who’s been campaigning for Britain to leave the EU called Brexit “incependence day”.
Polish citizens living and working in the UK will not have to leave right away. According to Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, the leaving process might even take up to 15 years. There are many issues that have not been foreseen in the Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, because the EU never expected to lose one of its members.
Waszczykowski says that at this point we can expect some fluctuations on the stock market and exchange rates.
If you’d like to see the referendum results in detailed maps, visit this BBC page.