National and Devolved Politics

24.06.16

David Cameron resigns after UK votes to leave EU

David Cameron has announced his resignation as prime minister after the British public voted in favour of leaving the EU.

The referendum was too close to call when polls opened yesterday, but the results delivered a decisive victory for Brexit, with 52% voting to leave against 48% voting to remain, on a 72.16% turnout.

Cameron has now announced that he will remain as prime minister until autumn, with a new Conservative leader in place by the party conference in October.

“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 decision,” he said.

It is not yet known when the UK will trigger Article 50, the clause in the Lisbon Treaty that will begin the process of leaving the EU.

No candidates for the Conservative leadership have come forward, but senior pro-Brexit politicians such as Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, who led the pro-Leave campaign, may be a contender.

Writing for PSE yesterday, Victoria Brambini, interim managing director of Scape Procure, warned that Brexit could have an impact on the public sector if it leads to an economic downturn, because of the loss of government and EU funding.

Since the result, sterling has fallen by more than 10% to $1.33 against the dollar, and £120bn has been wiped off the FTSE 100.

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, promised to make £250bn additional funds available to stabilise the markets.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “I believe that Britain is better off within the European Union, but the British people have clearly spoken today, and their democratic will must now be fulfilled.

“I would like to praise David Cameron for the dignified way he has reacted to the message sent by the British people in his words at Downing Street today. I agree with the prime minister that Britain can survive and prosper outside the European Union.”

He said he would push the government to ensure that the UK remains part of the common market.

It is also not clear how the vote will influence devolution. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in favour of remaining in the EU, strengthening the case for them to leave the UK.

PSE will provide full coverage of the Conservative leadership contest, the outcome of the UK leaving the EU, and what it all might mean for the public sector over the next few months.

(Image c. Daniel Leal-Olivas  from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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