As the sun rises over the UK this morning, we are met with the news of a Leave campaign win.
The polls couldn’t predict it, the bookies couldn’t predict it, hell even Brexit politicians couldn’t predict it, with Leave poster-boy Nigel Farage claiming Remain ‘would edge it’. But after a gargantuan turnout, the people of Britain have taken their democratic right and made their voices clear – we’re leaving the EU.
But now what will happen? Well, according to the BBC, here’s everything you need to know.
Well the first thing we ought to stress is that when the result is eventually confirmed, despite pledging to leave the EU, very little will change at first. The UK will continue as a member of the European Union, however the process to leave will begin.
Prime Minister’s Statement
As you can probably imagine, after such a vital referendum, which will no doubt change the course of history for this country – for good or for bad – Mr Cameron will be making a speech in the near future.
He will make another statement on Monday to parliament, although he could be pushed to make this statement earlier if MPs urge a ‘special meeting’.
Despite continuously claiming he would not resign if the UK voted to leave the EU, it is widely thought that as a majority of the UK went against Cameron’s advice and campaign, it would be a fitting time for him to announce his resignation.
Political guru Robert Peston claims that Cameron could be simply replaced by another Conservative MP, with former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, looking like the man for the job.
Alternatively, we could be forced to have another general election.
European Leaders Respond
Shortly after Cameron’s speech later today, there is no doubt that European leaders from across the continent will also voice their opinions on the matter.
It has been no hidden secret that every European leader wanted the UK to remain in the EU, so our decision to leave will surely be met by a lot of anger and frustration. This will likely lead to an emergency summit held in the next few days.
Although there is talk that the EU will offer the UK a ‘better’ deal, it is widely felt that this cannot be accepted as not to disrespect the British peoples’ vote.
Within the minutes which followed Sunderland’s mass Leave vote early this morning – foreshadowing the nationwide shock leave results – the value of the pound fell to its lowest level in over 30-years when compared with the dollar.
Some members who were part of the Leave campaign claimed that there would be a short-term ‘blip’ in the economy, however they insisted that things would rapidly spiral back to normality.
So all eyes will be on the City of London when trading begins again at 08:00am.
Pushing the exit button
The Prime Minister has said in the past that in the case of a Brexit win, he would activate the Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty as quickly as possible – an article which would set in the stone the UK’s exit from the EU. Chancellor George Osbourne has claimed that this could be within the next two weeks.
Once Article 50 is launched there is simply no way back into the EU unless every single member state gave consent, something which is highly unlikely following our prompt departure.
However, as stated earlier, the pledge to leave the EU would not be an automatic procedure. We can’t just pack our bags and say goodbye. Instead it is thought that it will take at least two years following the completion of Article 50.
Two of Brexit’s biggest faces, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, have both argued that the activation of Article 50 does not need to occur immediately, as they would rather endure extensive informal talks with other EU members and the European Commission, in order to allow other EU leaders the time to realise they need a ‘friendly’ trade deal with the UK to continue exporting their goods to Britain.
Negotiations with the EU will begin
When Cameron does trigger Article 50, negotiations with EU officials would begin – trade negotiations as well as the slow process of going through the 80,000 page document of EU agreements.
After two years the UK would be free to leave the EU, unless every member state, including ourselves, decided it was best for Britain to remain.
Both Ireland and Scotland could fight for freedom
There are rumours this morning surrounding the potential break up of ‘the union’.
Having both heavily supported the Remain campaign, it is widely believed that both Scotland and Northern Ireland (the North to unite with the Republic of Ireland) will now fight to be free through yet further independence referendums – with many claiming the votes will be massively in favour of separation from the United Kingdom.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has claimed that Scotland would be taken out of the EU ‘against its will’, and numerous Sinn Fein politicians have argued for a United Ireland, as by leaving the EU, the ‘British government has forfeited any mandate to represent economic or political interests of people in N Ireland’.
By 2018 the Prime Minister, whoever it might be, will be working to make the final arrangements surrounding trade before the UK eventually leaves the EU.
For now, there seems to be nothing left to do other than sit back and watch events unfold.