The Brexit win in a referendum allowing British nationals to decide whether they want to exit or remain in the European Union, has forced Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation from his post by October 2016. The national declaration of the referendum result took place early Friday morning, June 24, 2016.
Responding to Britain’s decision to leave the EU, Cameron told a public forum shortly after 08:15 BST on Friday, that he had informed the Queen of his decision to quit by October of this year. He said he would stay at his post until he is replaced by a new prime minister. The final referendum tally came to 48.1 percent Bremain (British remain) and 51.9 percent Brexit (British exit).
According to VOA, Cameron would attempt to “steady the ship” in the next few months, until the new prime minister can invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the United Kingdom two years to negotiate Brexit. It would be incumbent on someone to win Cameron’s post and carry out negotiations with the EU. Cameron acknowledged that he was following the will of the people.
“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected. The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”
Instrumental to the Brexit win is Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party (U.K.I.P.), which got 4 million votes in the 2015 election, the third-largest national vote total in the country. Warning that EU membership would force the U.K. to let in large numbers of Muslim refugees, Farage made the following statement in a 2015 interview.
“There is an especial problem with some of the people who’ve come here and who are of the Muslim religion who don’t want to become part of our culture. People do see a fifth column living within our country, who hate us and want to kill us.”
Aside from Muslim migrants, U.K.I.P. has also zeroed in on job-seekers from eastern Europe. Pundits compare the U.K.I.P.-inspired Brexit fervor as similar to the anger fanned up by United States presidential aspirant Donald Trump against Muslim refugees and Mexican illegals.
According to Breitbart, Farage accused David Cameron, whom he refers to as “Dishonest Dave,” of lying about Brexit concerns in order to win votes. Two-and-a-half weeks before the June 23 referendum, Farage focused his campaign on the risks of mass migration. He delved into the sexual attacks against numerous women in Cologne, Germany, by Muslim refugees last New Year’s Eve. Regarding Cologne’s sexual predators cropping up next in the U.K., he said the following.
“There are some very big cultural issues. It depends if they get E.U. passports. It depends if we vote for Brexit or not. It is an issue.”
Mentioned in a CBC report, the potential contenders for Cameron’s post are former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who both helped lead the Brexit campaign, and Home Secretary Theresa May also flush from the unexpected win. Treasury chief George Osborne’s chances are considered slim because he had taken the position that Britain remain in the E.U.
Johnson said on Friday that his countrymen had voted to take back control from the E.U. He saw no change over the short term because Britain will continue to be a “great European power.” Insisting the Brexit win will “take the wind out of the sails of extremists and those who would play politics with immigration,” he made the following statement.
“We can find our voice in the world again.”
According to RTE, Cameron’s concession to the Brexit win has been called by his cabinet colleagues “truly shocking,” and “a sad day for the country.” Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers voiced her sentiment on BBC’s Radio 4 Today program.
“It’s truly shocking news, I think it’s deeply saddening. As I was just saying only a few minutes ago, I would very much have preferred David Cameron to be steering this country through the next few years. I entirely respect his decision but I think it is a sad day for the country that he has decided to stand down.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon shared her views on the Brexit fallout. Fallon said the prime minister believed he was doing the “honorable thing” after failing to win the referendum vote.
According to Vox, Brexit advocates prefer admitting immigrants who bring valuable skills to the U.K. and assimilate well into British culture. The “Leave” supporters cite as examples Canada and Australia, which accept migrants on the basis of points for language acumen and job skills, education, and age. The win for the U.K., they argue, would be more doctors and engineers who speak fluent English, and fewer unskilled laborers with limited English skills.
Farage and Johnson share the belief that the U.K. cannot solve its immigration problem without leaving the EU. Their tough stand on the matter ensured that as the immigration crisis escalated across Europe, so did their influence. The resulting public discontent forced Cameron to hold an EU referendum, providing the opportunity for a Brexit win.
[Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]