Britain shocked the international community Friday morning with news that it has decided to leave the European Union. Many are wondering how this happened and whether this could be the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom.
As the map above shows, there is a distinct divide over how different parts of Britain voted in the referendum. Scotland, Northern Ireland and London voted overwhelmingly to remain in the E.U., but other parts of Britain, such as England and Wales, voted to leave. Many of the areas that voted to leave included northern areas such as Welsh valleys and Sheffield.
Overall, "leave" won by around 51.9 percent to 48.1, and turnout was a remarkable 72.2 percent, with more than 30 million people voting. However, the geographical divisions are stark:
Who wanted to leave the European Union?
- England voted to leave by 53.4 percent
- Wales voted to leave by 52.5 percent
- South East voted to leave by 51.8 percent
Who wanted to stay in the European Union?
- Scotland voted to stay by 62 percent, with Edinburgh voting to stay by 74 percent.
- Northern Ireland voted to stay by 55.8 percent
- London voted to stay by 59.9 percent
Because of this geographical divide between those who wanted to remain vs. those who wanted to leave, people are concerned about whether this could result in the U.K. breaking down. As The Washington Post's Griff Witte reported in the past, Scotland wants to remain part of the E.U. and might revive the debate about its own independence.
Now Londoners have also begun expressing their desire for independence from Britain.