British PM calls it quits after UK votes to exit EU

RSTV Bureau
British Prime Minister David Cameron Friday announced his decision to step down in three months following the Briton's decision to quit European Union.

British Prime Minister David Cameron Friday announced his decision to step down in three months following the Briton’s decision to quit European Union.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation minutes after United Kingdom voted to leave European Union. Addressing the nation after the vote at outside 10 Downing Street Cameron said that people’s decision to leave the European Union must be respected.

“We should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October,” announced the British PM

Speaking after the historic defeat of his campaign, Cameron said that no immediate changes will be made in the circumstances of people living in Britain.

The British Prime Minister pledged to activate Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. The Article begins negotiations with the EU’s 27-member states for the UK’s exit. Once Article 50 has been triggered, the only way back into the EU is with the agreement of all member states.

“No change on goods, travel. We must prepare for a negotiation with EU to ensure interests of the people of this country….,” said Cameron.

In what can be considered as a historic movement, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union after 43 years after 51.9 percent of voters on referendum favoured UK’s exit.

UK Electoral Commission's chief counting officer Jenny Watson announcing referendum results

UK Electoral Commission’s chief counting officer Jenny Watson announcing referendum results

The final national result was declared by the UK Electoral Commission’s chief counting officer Jenny Watson from Manchester Town Hall.

The ‘Brexit’ camp took a seemingly unassailable lead over the ‘Remain’ camp in a down-to-wire referendum with far reaching implications for the world.

According to reports of BBC, 51.9 per cent of the Britons in Thursday’s vote favoured leaving the 28-member EU, while 48 per cent supported staying in the bloc.

“We have left behind a failed political union. We can now rejoin the world as an independent, self-governing nation.  Dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom June 23 will be our Independence Day,” far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage said, while declaring victory.

As expected the, the result sent ripples across the world as the pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei was down 7.7 per cent to 14,982.48 points.

In South Korea, the Kospi index was 3.9 per cent lower at 1,909.18. In China, the mainland Shanghai Composite was down 1.2 per cent to 2,857.58 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is down sharply 4.7 per cent to 19,894.12 points.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage celebrates with supporters in London

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage celebrates with supporters in London

The vote – which saw an extremely high turnout of around 72 per cent with over 30 million people voting- reverses the public verdict back in 1975, when the UK voted to remain a member of then European Economic Community, which later became the EU.

The Remain camp had campaigned for economic certainty and safety of jobs, the Brexit camp had made their case as a vote to take back control of the UK’s borders and finances.

Immigration had been the central theme throughout and expected to swing most of the votes in favour of Brexit. Earlier, Gibraltar had been the first of the 382 local counting areas to declare, voting overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU, as had been expected.

More than 80 Eurosceptic MPs from Cameron’s party, including leading Vote Leave campaigner Boris Johnson and Indian-origin minister Priti Patel, moved quickly to calm the internal turmoil by urging Cameron to stay on as PM in a letter delivered to him soon after the polls closed last night.

“We who are supporters of Vote Leave and members of the Conservative Party thank you for giving the British people a choice of their destiny on 23 June. We believe that whatever the British people decide you have both a mandate and a duty to continue leading the nation implementing our 2015 manifesto,” the letter states.

Both sides of the campaign had urged the over 46 million registered voters, including 1.2 million British Indians,  to brave rains and flooding to cast their votes.

EU-refferendumIn some areas, booths had to be shut and moved to a different location due to water-logging but the general spirit remained on a high throughout the day.

Indian-origin voters, the biggest ethnic minority group in the UK of an estimated 1.2 million, had reflected a divided house in line with the country-wide knife-edge divide in the four-month-long referendum campaign.

Numerous hedge funds had commissioned their own exclusive exit polls at a cost of up to 500,000 pounds, which asked people how they voted on their way out of polling stations.

The results were intended to help traders get an insight into the way the vote would go ahead of the public, with these polls remaining private.

After polls closed at 10 PM yesterday, sealed ballot boxes were collected and transported to the count venue for each of the 382 local counting areas. These represented all 380 local government areas in England, Scotland and Wales, plus one each for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar