UK Is Leaving EU: What Happens Now?
The UK has left the EU, causing global economic panic. So what comes next and how worried should we be?
In a historic referendum, residents of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on July 23. What happens now? In this Seeker Daily special report, we look at the effects of the vote, which will be both immediate and long-lasting.
First, the immediate impact: Within hours of the vote, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation. While Cameron initially called for the referendum, it was intended to unify his political support. He never expected it to be close and he campaigned vigorously for Britain to remain in the U.K.
Cameron has said will remain in office until October to accommodate the transition. His political opponent Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, is regarded as his likely replacement.
In another immediate aftereffect, widely anticipated by economists, both the British pound and the Euro plummeted in value, with the pound dropping to a 30-year low. Markets were rattled, too. The London Stock Exchange lost more than 500 points, the largest drop since the 2008 economic crisis. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones stock market index plunged 600 points.
Experts anticipate further long-term changes in both the British and European economies. The International Monetary Fund has warned of an imminent UK recession and predicts the Brexit will reduce the British GDP by up to 5.5 percent.
Politically, the Brexit could trigger even more severe consequences for the UK. Scotland, which largely supported remaining with the EU, is almost certain to call a second vote on independence. Reports suggest that Northern Ireland is already discussing unification with the rest of Ireland, nearly a century after that historic division.
Meanwhile, worries persists about a domino effect as nationalist sentiments sweep across Europe, with other countries calling their own referendums for leaving the EU.
Leaving behind the larger forces of economies and history, the Brexit vote will have an impact on millions of individual lives. We spoke with several people living in the UK to get their take on the situation -- check out the video for their reactions.
The referendum turnout was 71.8% -- with more than 30 million people voting -- the highest turnout for a national vote since 1992. There's no doubt that the Brexit will have a profound effect on the United Kingdom, the European Union and the world.
The Economist: What happens now that Britain has voted for Brexit