By Lyndsey Hall
The results are in. 52% of UK residents have voted to leave the European Union. On Friday morning, David Cameron announced that he would be stepping down as Prime Minister. And the Pound hit a thirty one year low. So, what happens now?
What happens after the Brexit vote?
According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (which is yet to be triggered), negotiating the UK’s departure from the EU will take two years minimum. Cameron has suggested that this won’t happen until a new PM takes his place in October, however, several leaders of other European countries have refused to even begin preliminary negotiations until the UK formally applies to leave the EU.
What about the promises made by the Leave and Remain campaigns?
In the wake of the result, Vote Leave campaigners have come forward and admitted that many of the promises and claims made during the run up to the vote were actually false. Nigel Farage appeared on breakfast television on Friday morning and announced to the country that the £350m per week that will be saved by leaving the EU will not now be spent on the NHS, and it was a mistake to suggest as much.
The result has been even worse for the Remain side, as Labour’s shadow cabinet have queued up to hand in their resignation and request that Jeremy Corbyn step down as party leader.
How do the voters feel about the Brexit result?
Polls conducted after the result was announced have revealed that many voters who put an X in the Leave box actually don’t want the UK to leave the EU. For various reasons, they either voted against their true feelings or have since changed their minds; perhaps in the aftermath, as the British economy floundered and racially motivated incidents increased. In the spirit of Brexit, this has been delightfully coined ‘Regrexit’.
A petition to run a second referendum if the result was under 60% either way, based on a turnout of less than 75%, has garnered almost 4 million signatures. However, a spokesperson for the PM has come out and said that a redo is “not remotely on the cards”.
With our standing in Europe in question, no Prime Minister at the helm for the foreseeable future, and our economy on the rocks, now is a time of uncertainty. After coming through the worst recession in living memory and finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we may have just plunged ourselves into another. But, the important thing to do now is put the referendum behind us and start bridging the divide that the two opposing campaigns have created over the last six months.
If we’re going to make it through this, we’re going to have to do it together.