By Team ADU
Berlin. 24 June 2016. All eyes were on UK last week and bated breath till the results of the Referendum on UK’s exit from European Union ere out and the world realised that EU would not have its strongest member with it any more. With Prime Minister David Cameron resigning, stock markets plummeting and the world asking what now- Brexit seems to be the most chanted mantra .
The United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, known within the United Kingdom as the EU referendum and the Brexit referendum, was a non-binding referendum that took place on Thursday 23 June 2016 in the UK and Gibraltar to gauge support for the country’s continued membership in the European Union. The referendum resulted in an overall vote to leave the EU, as opposed to remaining an EU member, by 51.9% to 48.1%, respectively.
The vote was split between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, with a majority in England (except London) and Wales voting to leave, and a majority in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as 96% of Gibraltar, voting to remain. As the referendum is only advisory, a decision to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and thus leaving the EU can only be taken by the British Parliament; however, under the Scotland Act 1998, the Scottish Parliament has to consent to measures that eliminate EU law’s application in Scotland.
Britain stronger in Europe was the main group campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU, and Vote Leave the main group campaigning for it to leave. Those who favoured a British withdrawal from the European Union – commonly referred to as a Brexit (a portmanteau of “British” and “exit”) argued that the EU had a democratic deficit and that being a member undermined national sovereignty, while those who favoured membership argued that in a world with many supranational organisations any loss of sovereignty was compensated by the benefits of EU membership.
Those who wanted to leave the EU argued that it would allow the UK to better control immigration, thus reducing pressure on public services, housing and jobs; save billions of pounds in EU membership fees; allow the UK to make its own trade deals; and free the UK from EU regulations and bureaucracy that they saw as needless and costly. Those who wanted to remain argued that leaving the EU would risk the UK’s prosperity; diminish its influence over world affairs; jeopardise national security by reducing access to common European criminal databases; and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU. In particular, they argued that it would lead to job losses, delays in investment into the UK and risks to business.
Financial markets reacted negatively to the outcome as share prices fell markedly and also the value of the pound sterling (5–10% during the initial hours after the decision). The referendum was precipitated by internal fighting within the governing Conservative party, and the Prime Minister David Cameron stated he would resign as his side lost the referendum. The Scottish Government announced on 24 June 2016 that officials would plan for a “highly likely” second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom in response to the result and the Scottish Government announced that it will start “discussions with the EU institutions and other member states to explore all the possible options to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.
A referendum on Irish unification has been advocated by Sinn Féin, the largest nationalist/republican party in Ireland, which is represented both in the Northern Ireland Assembly and Dáil Éireann in the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin, called for a referendum on the subject following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, due to the majority of the Northern Irish population voting to remain.
Spain’s foreign minister José Manuel García-Margallo said “It’s a complete change of outlook that opens up new possibilities on Gibraltar not seen for a very long time. I hope the formula of co-sovereignity – to be clear, the Spanish flag on the Rock – is much closer than before.” Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo however immediately dismissed García-Margallo’s remarks, stating that “there will be no talks, or even talks about talks, about the sovereignty of Gibraltar”, and asked Gibraltar’s citizens “to ignore these noises”.
London voted to remain in the EU, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she had spoken to London Mayor Sadiq Khan about the possibility of remaining in the EU and said he shared that objective for London. A petition calling on Khan to declare London independent from the UK received tens of thousands of signatures. Supporters of London’s independence argued that London’s demographic, culture and values are different from the rest of England, and that it should become a city state similar to Singapore, while remaining an EU member state.
Two days and all sorts of things to hear, novel strategies being made and every nation in the continent trying to analyse how this referendum will effect them. The rest of the world trying to figure out how this decision will effect them.