LONDON, ENGLAND - In a historic and seismic referendum that holds far-reaching consequences for countries right across the globe, the United Kingdom has voted in favour of leaving the European Union four decades after it first joined in 1973.
The UK electorate voted 51.9% in favor of leaving the EU, while 48.1% voted to remain a member of the politico-economic union. In a vote that saw its highest turnout since the UK’s 1992 general election, over 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, while 16.1 million opted to remain.
The debate was hard-fought on both sides, with the Leave camp focusing their arguments on immigration and sovereignty, while the Remain side focused the majority of their arguments around the economy and a “better together” attitude.
After the decision for “Brexit” was confirmed at around 07:30 local time (02:30 EST, 23:30 PST) today (June 24), the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron — who has been a very public supporter of the Remain campaign — announced that he will stand down as the leader of the Conservative Party, with the hope of a new Prime Minister being in office by early October.
It’s worth noting that no nation state has ever left the European Union before, leaving many politicians and commentators questioning the true ramifications of the “Brexit” vote.
Nigel Farage, one of the leading figureheads of the Vote Leave campaign, hailed the verdict as the UK’s “independence day.”
A multitude of politicians from across the globe have offered their reaction to the news, including President Barack Obama, who this morning released a statement regarding the referendum’s verdict. During the months leading up to yesterday’s vote, Obama was vocal in his support of the UK remaining a member of the European Union. Elsewhere, both the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and the likely Democratic Party nominee,Hillary Clinton, have issued statements addressing the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
Likewise, various members of the Hip Hop community have flocked to their social media accounts to offer their thoughts on “Brexit.”