Brexit supporters are winning
Britain has voted to leave the European Union: according to official data, 51.9% of voters backed Brexit, while the turnout was 72.2%. In total, the referendum was attended by more than 33.5 million people.
Largest ‘leave’ vote: Boston 75.6%, South Holland 73.6%, Castle Point 72.7%. Largest remain vote: Gibraltar 95.9%, Lambeth 78.6%, Hackney 78.5%.
The leader of the Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, thanked those that voted to leave the European Union.
"We've got our country back. Thanks to all of you," he wrote on his Twitter page, using hashtag #IndependenceDay.
The referendum ballot paper asked the following question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" Registered voters include Britons from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar - a British territory off the southern coast of Spain. Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK are also eligible to vote.
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the decision to hold a referendum in February. Prior to that, he agreed on an updated terms of further UK membership in the union with the leaders of other EU countries. Cameron expressed willingness to encourage the compatriots in the referendum to speak out in favor of the country staying in the European Union.
Those wishing to stay in the bloc are the majority of the current Cabinet, as well as many well-known British politicians, former prime ministers Tony Blair and John Major, famous figures in culture, art and sports: former England soccer captain David Beckham, writer JK Rowling, actor Benedict Cumberbatch, actress Helena Bonham Carter, singer Elton John and TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
The heads of many European countries, as well as the US President Barack Obama have called on Britain to remain in the EU.
The 'Out' campaign headed by the ex-mayor of London, Boris Johnson, includes many prominent Britons: actors Michael Caine and John Cleese, former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell and lead singer of The Who, Roger Daltrey. Some members of the government and the parliament also supported euroskeptics. The justice secretary Michael Gove became one of the leaders of the movement. The US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also supports Britain leaving the EU.
A member of the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, stressed that Britain's decision to leave will be very painful for the European Union. "If we consider the political aspect of the matter, then, of course, Brexit would deal a serious blow to the EU, because, until recently, a few years ago, the European Union has been the immutable economic power," he explained.
"Today's result shows that the EU will now need to consolidate itself politically to resist various kinds of defeatism," the expert noted.
According to Olenchenko, Brexit's economic aspect concerns not only the UK, but also the countries which companies were working on its territory. "First of all, we are talking about the Japanese companies in the UK and Ireland. The UK leaving the union means a return to customs duties and, consequently, the Japanese production in the EU will become less competitive. And the Japanese yen has already dropped by 8-10%," a member of the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
But the German economy will receive a number of benefits after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. "The German economy is export-oriented. We can assume that German companies would lay claim to a larger field of activity in the EU," the expert noted.
Speaking about the social consequences of Brexit, the expert recalled that the United Kingdom has put restrictions on the entry to the EU even before, but now these barriers will increase even more.
But most importantly, the UK leaving the EU will change the balance of powers in Europe. "Now the UK will qualify itself to be the leader in Europe. And the weakening of the EU will bring NATO to the center stage," Olenchenko stressed.
Commenting on the collapse in oil prices which has occurred after the announcement of the referendum results, the expert said that it is unclear how long this trend will last. "Most experts, politicians and bookmakers counted on the vote against Brexit," a member of the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
According to the expert, Moscow will have to rearrange its positions on many issues. "Firstly, the majority of Russian public companies which have placed their shares on international stock markets, are keeping them exactly on the London stock market. Accordingly, the shares of Russian companies decreased. I think that this phenomenon can last for a month, after which the situation will recover," Olenchenko noticed.
Brexit will also affect countries that aspire to join the EU, the expert believes. "Perhaps, to liberalize the visa regime is an issue of fundamental importance for Georgia and Ukraine, but for the European Union this issue is not in focus at the moment," he concluded.