Britain Votes To Leave The European Union

 

In an historic referendum British voters have chosen to leave the European Union. The Leave campaign won 51.9 per cent of the overall vote while 48.1 per cent wanted to remain a part of the EU.

Shortly after the results became official, British Prime Minister David Cameron, said that he was deeply disappointed by the vote and announced his resignation. He would, however, remain Prime Minister until a pro-Brexit successor was chosen. Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party and dominant force behind the leave campaign said that “birth was being given to a new Britain”.

The outcome of the referendum both shocked and surprised politicians across Europe. Jean Claude Junker, president of the EU Commission, said it was a sad day for Europe but that the union had to respect the wish of the British people. On the other side, right wing leaders all over the continent welcomed the British decision. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, said that if she won the upcoming presidential election next year, she would give French citizens the opportunity to leave the EU in a similar referendum.

According to EU rules, a country can leave the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This would give British and European leaders a 2-year period to negotiate a deal under which Great Britain would exit the union. Many experts, however, think that it may take much longer to work out the whole agreement. Britain, which became a full EU member state in 1973, would leave the world’s biggest trading zone and may lose access to Europe’s single market.

 


The referendum will also have a large impact on British politics. Nationalists in Scotland , which overwhelmingly voted to remain a part of the European Union, said that they will seek a new referendum on Scottish independence. In Northern Ireland, which also voted in favour of staying a part of the community, the Sinn Fein party has announced that it will move for a reunited Ireland.

For the leave campaign, uncontrolled immigration was the key issue. Supporters said that Britain had the right to determine who could enter and work in the country. On the other side, those in favour of staying an EU member country said that it would be an economic disaster if Britain left Europe. Many people saw the referendum as a vote against big government and the establishment.

The results of the British referendum had an immediate impact on the global economy. Stock markets around the world dropped by up to 7%. The British pound sank to 1.34 dollars, its lowest value in 30 years.

 

 

Brtain's EU referendum

British campaigners in the 2016 referendum - Image by Philafrenzy 

 

Related Topics

 

Words

 

  • access = here: the right to use something
  • according to = as said by …
  • agreement = written document that is signed by two or more parties
  • Brexit = a short word for British exit = leaving the European Union
  • citizen = person who lives in a country and has rights there
  • deal = agreement
  • deeply = very much, greatly
  • determine = decide
  • disappointed =unhappy because you did not expect something to happen the way it did
  • disaster = tragedy, failure
  • dominant = number one
  • drop = go down
  • establishment = group of people, especially in government, who have a lot of power and are against any kind of change
  • exit = leave
  • force = power, person
  • global = worldwide
  • however= but
  • immediate = at once
  • immigration = when people leave their home country and go somewhere else to live and work there
  • impact = effect
  • in favour of = to be for something
  • issue = topic
  • key = most important
  • leave campaign = here: the movement and politicians that wanted Great Britain to leave the European Union
  • nationalist = person who wants their country to be free from others
  • negotiate = work out
  • official = here: to make public
  • opportunity = chance
  • outcome = results
  • overall = in total
  • politician = person who works for the government or a political party, or who is a member of parliament
  • referendum = when people vote in order to decide on an important topic
  • remain = stay
  • resignation = when you officially say that you will leave your job
  • reunited = to bring something together again
  • right wing = here: very conservative
  • similar = almost the same
  • single market = trading area where goods and people can move freely
  • stock market = place where stocks and shares are bought and sold
  • successor = person who follows someone in a certain job
  • supporter = a person who works for an idea
  • trading zone = when many countries agree to trade in a certain area
  • upcoming = something that will happen soon
  • value = what something is worth
  • welcome = accept, to be grateful for