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Live updates: Britain votes to leave the European Union

June 24, 2016

Nigel Farage (front), the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) reacts with supporters, following the result of the EU referendum, outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain June 24, 2016. (Toby Melville / Reuters)

The choice could have disastrous consequences for the British economy and ripple across the globe.

 

  • Julie Vitkovskaya
  • ·

1. Britain’s shock vote brings swift consequences as leader to resign, markets plunge

David Cameron staked his political future on remaining in the European Union but could not persuade his people.

2. The untested E.U. process that will control Britain’s future

A guide to how the process of actually leaving the E.U. might work.

3. With David Cameron stepping down, all eyes are on Boris Johnson

If Cameron was the biggest political loser of the night, Johnson is arguably the big winner.

4. With Brexit, E.U. leaders confront their worst-case scenario

A flurry of diplomacy began Friday morning as E.U. leaders scrambled to manage Britain’s pending exit from the bloc.

  • Adam Taylor
  • ·

Brexit

  • Ylan Q. Mui
  • ·
The owner of a currency exchange office stands next to his exchange rates board in Gibraltar, on June 24, 2016. (Sergio Camacho/AFP/Getty)

The owner of a currency exchange office stands next to his exchange rates board in Gibraltar, on June 24. (Sergio Camacho/AFP/Getty)

The risk of another global recession escalated Friday after Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union plunged financial markets into freefall and tested the strength of the safeguards put in place since the last downturn seven years ago.

Wall Street was slammed from the moment trading opened, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 500 points within minutes. Though it pared those losses over the morning, it was back down 534 points, or nearly 3 percent, by afternoon. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the tech-heavy Nasdaq suffered declines of more than 3 percent.

Read more

  • Melissa Etehad
  • ·

Cartoonists have chimed in on the announcement that Britain will leave the European Union with creative illustrations that poke fun at the situation while explaining its significance.

Here are a few examples posted on Twitter:

Read more here

  • Adam Taylor
  • ·

Leader of UKIP and Vote Leave campaign Nigel Farage speaks to the assembled media at College Green, Westminster following the results of the E.U. referendum on June 24, in London. (Mary Turner/Getty Images)

In an interview with CNN, pro-Brexit British politician Nigel Farage has said that President Obama doesn’t understand the European Union.

“I genuinely don’t think Obama understands what the European Union is,” Farage said. “He seems to think it’s like a rather big NAFTA. It’s not. Come on! For goodness sake, we are the closest allies in the world.”

Previously, Farage had called Obama the “most anti-British American president there has ever been.”

“I hope he will be replaced by somebody rather more sensible when it comes to trading relationships with this country,” Farage said in April.

  • Kate Silver
  • ·

Now is a good time to book that trip to Britain.

“The British pound has already tumbled 10 percent,” said Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer’s guidebooks and its website. The last time the pound was seen at this level was 1985. “In terms of your buying power, this is good news,” Frommer said. (Disclosure: This writer has authored Frommer’s guides in the past.)

Frommer said travel could also get more inconvenient — people traveling from North America can probably expect longer customs lines when flying into Britain.

“Right now, when you go to, say, London, you arrive at Heathrow, there’s one line for everyone in the E.U., and there’s one line for everyone else,” she said. “The ‘everyone else’ line is going to get much bigger, which is bad for us North Americans.”

Read more.

  • Melissa Etehad
  • ·

Markets all around the world immediately felt the effects of the Brexit vote. After results revealed that voters had decided Britain would no longer stay part of the European Union,  shock waves could be felt in the global market. Nepal, in particular, has seen its rupee drop against the dollar. Local media reported on Friday that the Nepali rupee has “weakened by Rs 1.24 against the U.S. dollar,” and the price of gold saw a sharp rise in the domestic market.

  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·

White House correspondent David Nakamura sends in this dispatch from an event at Stanford University, where President Obama was speaking at a global entrepreneurial summit. He said he spoke to both British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will resign in the wake of his nation’s vote for Brexit, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the European Union’s most important leader.

Namakura redacts Obama’s remarks:

“David has been an outstanding friend and partner on the global stage. Based on our conversation, I’m confident the UK is committed to an orderly transition out of the EU. We agreed that our economic and financial teams will remain in close contact as we remain focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability.”

He and Merkel “agreed that the United States and our European allies will work closely together in the weeks and months ahead.”

“I do think that yesterday’s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization. But while the UK’s relationship with the EU will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship between our two nations. That will endure. The EU will remain one of our indispensable partners. The NATO alliance will remain a cornerstone of our global security. …  And our shared values including our commitment to democracy and pluralism and opportunity for all people in a globalized world — that will continue to unite all of us.”

  • Julie Vitkovskaya
  • ·

According to poll numbers, Brexit and Trump supporters both tend to be male, older, conservative and less educated when compared with their opponents.

But that leads to the natural question: What can the Brexit results tell us about the U.S. presidential election? If Brexit won when it was expected to fail, could Trump do the same?

Fortunately or unfortunately, the result can’t tell us a lot. It doesn’t mean Trump can win here, but it also doesn’t mean he can’t. Largely at issue here is demographics.

Read more

  • Michael Birnbaum
  • ·

BRUSSELS — Smaller countries — particularly in Eastern Europe — have sent hundreds of thousands of citizens to work in Britain and may seek a gentler tone, in part to spare their expatriates.

“Punishment is not going to be the best way to consolidate forces,” said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius in an interview. He said E.U. leaders were already consulting about next steps. The Baltic nation has 3 million citizens at home and 200,000 in Britain, a measure of what is at stake, not just for Britain but for the European nations it is leaving behind.

For an Eastern Europe that is staring across its borders at mounting numbers of Russian troops, the British decision will also have security implications, empowering the Kremlin and weakening European resolve against Russian actions in Ukraine.

“Frankly speaking, of course the Kremlin will celebrate,” Linkevicius said. “It’s a big day. Any step weakening the unity of the European Union, unfortunately, this could be considered a victory.”

In Russia, pro-Kremlin politicians mocked Europe for resisting what they said was the euroskeptic will of its populations.

“After the referendums in the Netherlands and Britain, the elites leading the countries of the E.U. will be against holding them: the opinion of the people is dangerous for their political goals,” the head of the foreign affairs committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Alexey Pushkov, wrote on Twitter.

  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·

On WorldViews, we look at comments made by Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and prominent Brexit campaigner, in the wake of the victory.

“And today honesty, decency and belief in nation, I think now is going to win. And we will have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired. We’d have done it by damned hard work on the ground,” he said.

The remarks are somewhat controversial given the killing of Labour MP and Remain advocate Jo Cox last week by an alleged gunman motivated by far-right politics. For more on Farage’s rhetoric and Cox’s slaying, head to WorldViews.

  • Julie Vitkovskaya
  • ·
Catholicos Karekin II, left, flanked by Pope Francis, kisses a Holy Book as he visits the Apostolic Cathedral of Etchmiadzin in Yerevan, on June 24, 2016. (Andrew Medichini/AFP/Getty)

Catholicos Karekin II, left, flanked by Pope Francis, kisses a Holy Book as he visits the Apostolic Cathedral of Etchmiadzin in Yerevan, Armenia, on June 24. (Andrew Medichini/AFP/Getty)

The Vatican knows all about schisms already. On Friday, the pope’s spokesman asked him to comment on this more worldly split.

The vote “was the will expressed by the people,” Pope Francis said, according to Catholic News Service. He added that it “requires great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom and the good and coexistence of the whole European continent.”

Read more

  • Melissa Etehad
  • ·

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi gives a press conference on June 24 at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome after the Brexit referendum in Britain to leave the European Union. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

After results came in that people in Britain voted in favor of leaving the European Union, some people spent their Friday requesting to change their citizenship. According to media reports, 31 people in London went to Italy’s consulate requesting for Italian citizenship. And so far in Edinburgh, four people have requested Italian citizenship.

  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·

As Scotland’s first minister suggested a new independence referendum was in the cards, Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland — which voted in a clear majority to remain in the European Union — called for their own vote on the question of leaving Britain and unifying with Ireland to the south.

“The people of the north of Ireland — nationalists, republicans, unionists and others  — have made it clear at the polls that they wish to remain in the E.U.,” said Martin McGuiness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and a leading member of Sinn Fein. “The British Government now need to take account of that and recognize that reality and allow the people of the north to have their say on their own future.”

His colleague and putative rival, First Minister Arlene Foster, poured cold water on the revival of Sinn Fein’s demands. “The call for a border poll was as predictable as the flowers in May. We knew it would come, but the test has not been met so therefore I don’t believe it will happen,” said Foster.

  • Melissa Etehad
  • ·

People across Africa have taken to social media in reaction to the Brexit vote. After British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would step down, different African countries began to reflect on their own internal politics — comparing Cameron’s decision to that of their own political leaders.

One Twitter user drew a comparison to South African President Jacob Zuma, who recently found out he could face corruption charges.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Moamud also drew criticism.

  • Adam Taylor
  • ·
Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty. (Francois Lenoir/Illustration/Reuters)

Article 50 of the E.U.’s Lisbon Treaty. (Francois Lenoir/Illustration/Reuters)

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has caused panic across much of the world. Yet for all the excitement, it’s important to note one thing: Nothing has actually happened yet.

Yes, Britain voted to “leave,” but the actual process of leaving the E.U. has not begun. Boris Johnson, leader of a pro-Brexit campaign, has suggested that Britain should wait before actually starting that process.

That process is called “Article 50.” And here’s what it is.

  • Melissa Etehad
  • ·

The mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, announced today that she wants the French government to renegotiate the Le Touquet treaty between the United Kingdom and France. Calais is a town in northern France where many asylum seekers are staying. The announcement comes as no surprise as politicians in France have warned Britain that if it left the European Union, they would pull the treaty which allows British border patrol to check passports in Calais.

  • Renae Merle
  • ·
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on June 24. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Wall Street banks on Friday scrambled to contain the fallout from Britain’s stunning vote to break ties with the European Union.

Some of America’s largest banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to efforts to stop Britain from withdrawing from the European Union, worried it would disrupt their global operations and force them to rethink where and how they do business in Europe.

Several have indicated that they would be forced to move thousands of employees out of London, which has acted as the headquarters of their European operations.

Read more.

  • Ishaan Tharoor
  • ·

A poll commissioned by Lord Ashcroft, a former leading figure among the Conservatives, illustrates the profound ideological differences and anxieties weighing down the rival camps.

Huge majorities of Leave supporters saw immigration, globalization and multiculturalism as forces of “ill” for society, while vast numbers of Remain supporters saw them as forces for good. The Leave camp, according to the poll, was wary of feminism, environmental activism and the effects of “social liberation.” The only thing the two sides seem to agree on is a tepid embrace of the virtues of capitalism.

  • Julie Vitkovskaya
  • ·

Alarm bells were sounding everywhere. Here’s how the world responded to the Brexit announcement:

1. The stock market’s so-called “fear gauge” soared following the Brexit vote

2. Italian and Spanish bonds tumbled as investors sought safer investments. 

3. Banks and government bodies cut back on forecasts for global economic growth.

4. The pound fell to its lowest value against the U.S. dollar since 1985. 

5. British real estate stocks suffered. 

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