Following a historic vote in the United Kingdom, Britons have decided to leave the European Union in a 52-48 decision.
It was expected to be a close vote in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum, and after everything was counted it was just that. Soon after hearing the news, Prime Minister David Cameron abandoned ship, announcing his resignation early on Friday. In his place, another politician-likely Boris Johnson, leader of the Leave campaign-will take charge during formal secession negotiations with the EU, which European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said should “get started immediately”.
Those celebrating today include Boris Johnson for obvious reasons, and also UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has called for the day to “go down in our history as our independence day,” claiming that the result was “a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people,” and of course a victory for white people. Although that last point was not part of his speech, the sentiment was obvious. Farage’s Eurosceptic counterparts on the continent also reacted favourably to the referendum’s result, as Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom, Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League, and Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front have all called for similar votes in their countries, in what could be the final nail in the coffin of the soon-to-be 27 member bloc.
One who was not happy with the result was Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, as Scotland, like Northern Ireland but unlike England and Wales, voted to remain with the European Union. This is especially aggravating to Scots today as just two years ago they voted to remain with the United Kingdom under the precedent that they would otherwise be out of the EU. Now it seems like that is going to happen anyway, making another referendum on Scottish Independence “highly likely,” as Sturgeon has stated. As for whether a similar vote will occur in Northern Ireland, it seems less likely but only time will tell.
All things considered it has been a bad day in the UK, as their standing in the world has begun to fall into disarray, which has already been illustrated as stock markets began to plummet while the pound sterling fell to its lowest value in 31 years. Whether either will stabilize and/or return to normal is still an open question, as the UK, and Europe in general now find themselves in unknown political territory.
But on the bright side, if the UK fails to prosper they will no longer have immigrants to blame it on. Perhaps then real change can be made.