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Saturday, June 25, 2016


Britain has voted to leave the European Union. Thursday's exit polls indicated a slim lead for the Remain campaign, but the results which trickled in overnight eventually won the Leave campaign a narrow victory, with 52% voting for a Brexit and 48% voting to stay in the EU. The result prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to on Friday morning.

As expected, Britain's decision to exit the EU was in the main a generational one, with a YouGov poll indicating that 75% of 18-24 year olds voted to remain, while 61% of people over the age of 65 voted to leave. So whether you're celebrating the news right now with a glass of English sparkling wine or are currently hunkering down stockpiling cans of baked beans in preparation for the apocalypse, here's a run-down of what is likely to happen next.

So do we leave straight away?
No - it will likely take two years or more. The UK will now be under pressure to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty Of the European Union, which lets a member state notify the EU of its withdrawal. The EU must then try to negotiate an exit agreement. During this two year negotiation period, EU laws would still apply to the UK.

Is there any way it won't happen?
Despite a majority vote for Brexit, the vote to leave the EU still has to go through parliament. It is likely, given the vote was so close, that there will be strong protests by pro-Remain MPs, though overall it is unlikely that pro-Remainers will be able to reverse a decision that was voted for by the country.

What will the other EU members do?
On Saturday, the foreign ministers of the founding six member states (that's France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Italy and Belgium) will meet to discuss the impact of the British vote. Experts warn that the UK exit could trigger a further break-up of the European Union, with other countries deciding they are better out than in.

Who will replace Cameron?
Now that the PM has announced his resignation, questions have been raised about who will follow him as Prime Minister. Boris Johnson has been mooted as a likely successor given his pro-Brexit stance, and is certainly the bookies' favourite, but he could also face challenges from fellow Brexiteer Michael Gove and Theresa May. George Osborne is now less likely to succeed, given his support for the Remain campaign.

Will Scotland and Ireland leave us now?
Our friends north of the border voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. And given Scotland's very close independence referendum vote last year, politicians including Nicola Sturgeon have suggested that the Scots will now demand a second referendum to break free from the UK. Meanwhile, over in Ireland - which also showed a majority vote to remain - Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has called for a vote on Irish reunification.

How will the UK economy react to Brexit?
The economy is already reacting very badly to the news, with a 10% drop in the value of the pound overnight, the lowest dip since 1985. Immediate economic uncertainty is a given (even Brexiteers have admitted that) though the long term effects are less certain. Some economists have suggested that the UK will stagnate and struggle outside a single market and we are likely to see the effects last for five years.

Source : Marieclaire

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