British Prime Minister David Cameron gambled and lost, catastrophically so. Britain is leaving the European Union. Political and economic chaos lie ahead on both sides of the English Channel. Britain and the EU are already emerging from the wreckage as vastly diminished economic and political forces because of a vote that was opportunistic and unnecessary.
Mr. Cameron resigned early Friday after the official results were announced. “I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he told reporters on Friday outside his Downing Street office. Mr. Cameron spoke after Britain voted by a tight but clear margin Thursday to leave the European Union after a bitter campaign.
With all 382 voting areas reporting, Leave defeated Remain by 52 per cent to 48 per cent. The margin between the two sides was more than 1.2 million votes and turnout was more than 70 per cent of eligible voters.
The result in favour of Britain’s exit from the EU – Brexit – defied the latest polls, which had predicted a narrow victory for the Remain side. The soaring markets had said the polls were right. But polls and investors can be dead wrong, and they were in this case. The market fallout has been swift and brutal. There was blood, everywhere.
Mr. Cameron’s folly – his pledge after his 2015 re-election to hold an in/out referendum on EU membership – has handed the EU its first major setback since its predecessor was formed with the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Britain now becomes the first EU member to hit the road. Brexit has proven that the EU is reversible.
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