David Cameron has outlined the future of the United Kingdom as we prepare to leave the European Union, saying he’ll resign in October.
The Prime Minister had campaigned over the last few months for Britain to remain in the EU, however the shock result last night saw the ‘Leave’ campaign pull ahead, winning the referendum.
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Cameron appeared outside of 10 Downing Street at 08:15 this morning to brief the nation on what was to happen, declaring that although he was proud to have led the country for the last six years, he believed it was time for new leadership.
The Prime Minister has said he will stay in office over the next three months to ‘steady the ship’ and ensure a smooth transition, but there’ll be a new PM by the Conservative conference in October.
However, he made clear that he would not trigger Article 50 – which would begin the legal separation of the UK and Europe – leaving that to his successor.
David Cameron announces his resignation after EU referendum result https://t.co/17ecb6C4cZ
— The Independent (@Independent) June 24, 2016
The Cabinet will meet on Monday to draw up a time frame for him leaving.
Here’s the PM’s key quote:
I was absolutely clear [in the referendum] about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union. And I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone, not the future of any single politician, including myself.
But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.
I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months. But I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
This is not a decision I have taken lightly. But I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.
There is no need for a precise timetable today. But in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative party conference in October.
Breaking: U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron says he will resign https://t.co/BmEsp9MILiAdvertisement
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 24, 2016
During the emotional speech, Mr Cameron’s voice broke as his wife Samantha watched on, and the Prime Minister took the time to congratulate both sides of the debate, saying that the will of the British people could not be ignored.
He attempted to reassure the British people that their economy was strong and called for unity with the Scottish, Irish and Welsh governments to work together for the benefit of all the people.
Eighty Eurosceptic Conservatives sent Cameron a letter saying he had ‘a mandate and a duty’ to continue as Prime Minister, to help unite the country.
However, there were fears that those in the party who didn’t sign the letter would call a vote of no confidence, threatening the stability of both the country and the party.
Listen to the Prime Minster’s full speech here: