After a national referendum, the people of Britain chose to exit the European Union.
The unprecedented departure has already sent political and economic shockwaves, with UK Prime Minister David Cameron announcing his resignation and stock markets across the world crashing, according to The Daily Beat.
On June 23, British voters chose to exit the EU by a margin of 52 to 48 percent. Scotland and the city of London were the primary holdouts for remaining, The Guardian reports.
Cameron allowed the referendum after determining that Britons would overwhelmingly vote to remain in the EU, the economic collection of European nations.
There have been a myriad of issues leading to Brexit, but the primary factors have been the economy and immigration. Those in favor of leaving the EU have been championing the UK’s right to sovereignty and control of its borders amid Europe’s economic and refugee crises, according to The Daily Beast.
The UK entering uncharted political waters caused economic anxiety across the world. The British pound has experienced its most dramatic fall in more than 30 years, while U.S. stock markets are bracing for a precipitous plunge as well.
Cameron leveraged his political power in favor of Britain voting to remain in the EU. Visibly emotional while declaring the results of the referendum, Cameron announced he would be resigning in the coming months.
“I held nothing back," Cameron said during his resignation speech, according to TIME. He continued:
I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union, and I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone, not the future of any single politician, including myself.
But 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 direction.
I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
The next UK prime minister will be elected out of Cameron’s own Conservative Party. The odds-on favorite appears to be former London Mayor Boris Johnson, a champion of the exit movement, CNN reports.
“I think the electorate have searched in their hearts and answered as honestly as they can,” Johnson said at a news conference shortly after Cameron announced his resignation. "They have decided to vote to take back control from a European Union that has become too remote."
The Brexit vote prompted Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon to announce that the country will strongly consider holding a new referendum to leave the UK, BBC reports.
After choosing to remain with Britain in 2014, Scotland voted for the UK to remain in the EU by a margin of 62 to 38 percent. Sturgeon said that being forced out of the economic union along with the rest of Britain was “democratically unacceptable.”
“It is, therefore, a statement of the obvious that a second referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table,” Sturgeon said.