The U.K. voted 52 percent to 48 percent to Brexit — exit the European Union – last Thursday. The pound plummeted. Global stock markets sank. A prime minister resigned. Pundits asked investors not to panic. They did anyway.
Here’s what it all means, and what could happen next, as explained in this video.
Brexit, Bracksies, Bregret?The UK voted 52 percent to 48 percent to BREXIT — exit the European Union. The pound plummeted. Global stock markets sank. A prime minister resigned. Pundits asked investors not to panic. They did anyway. What’s next? This video will help explain.
What’s next? Paperwork. Piles of it. There are lots of rules for leaving— called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Step one? Prime Minister David Cameron (who has announced his resignation but likely won’t step down until the fall) needs to formally declare Britain’s intention to leave. He hasn’t done that yet, and said it would be up to his successor to do so.
Another British Prime Minister, David Wilson, once said: “A week is a long time in politics.”
The Brexit process could take up to two years. And extended another two years, if the EU agrees.
Scotland and Northern Ireland, two of the four countries in the United Kingdom, don’t want to leave the EU.
The majority of Scots voted remain — 62 percent. Northern Ireland voted the same at 56 percent. (The Leaves won in England with 57 percent, and with 52.5 percent in Wales.)
The strong ‘Remain’ votes in Scotland and Northern Ireland triggered speculation that they could exit the U.K., not the EU.
Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, are two of the most prominent “Brexiteers.”
The Washington Post calls Farage the hard-liner.
“The EU’s failing. The EU’s dying,” Farage said after the vote. “I hope we’ve knocked the first brick out of the wall.”
Johnson led the Brexit camp among the Tories (which are conservatives and the party of David Cameron).
“Nothing will change over the short term, except that work will have to begin on how to give effect to the will of the people and to extricate this country from the supranational system,” Johnson said.
After Cameron resigned, the British media tipped Johnson to be his likely successor. But he’s since removed his hat from the ring after one of his colleagues and supporters made a surprise announcement of his own candidacy to be the Tory leader.
Millions who voted to leave the EU now say they regret it. #regrexit has been trending on Twitter. More than 4 million people have signed a petition for a second Brexit referendum. Apparently, they want to go “Bracksies” on their original vote.
So could Great Britain lose Scotland and become “Little Britain”? Will the entire U.K. secede from the Union, or just part of it? Will there be a second Brexit referendum? Could the British PM keep kicking the can down the road, two years at a time?