It’s a close vote, but the “Leave” side looks to have won the day in a 51-49 cliffhanger.
Here’s Nigel Farage, the UKIP party leader who spearheaded the effort to separate the UK from the EU, declaring victory with a stirring speech…
Farage is likely going to be blamed for the short-term financial fallout…
The potential for an unprecedented exit of one of the EU’s biggest members has gripped policymakers and financial markets on both sides of the Atlantic.
The campaign to pull out has been driven by growing complaints about Britain’s inability to write and enforce its own laws. The growing number of Middle East refugees seeking solace in Europe has heightened concerns, driving the campaign to pull out of the 28-nation governing body.
The stunning murder of a British politician, Jo Cox, earlier this month cast even further doubt on the high-stakes vote. Cox, a supporter of remaining in the EU, was allegedly killed by a man who called for “freedom for Britain” in court.
In the U.S., some policymakers have openly fretted about what a Brexit could mean for the economy.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said that the central bank opted not to raise interest rates earlier this month in part because of the looming Brexit vote, and told lawmakers it could carry “significant economic repercussions.”
And naturally, Barack Obama had zero influence – or perhaps negative influence – on the decision to leave…
When he visited the country in April, President Obama warned that if Britain were to leave the EU, it could throw a wrench into efforts to establish a new trade agreement between the two nations.
Obama’s comment that Britain could go to the “back of the queue” for trade talks, while the U.S. continued to hammer out a deal with the remaining EU members, attracted significant attention.
“It could be five years from now, 10 years from now before we were able to actually get something done,” Obama told the BBC. “The U.K. would not be able to negotiate something with the United States faster than the EU.”
Since those remarks, White House officials have emphasized that the president was offering his opinion on the matter, while making clear British voters would have the final say.
But that didn’t stop some Republicans from blasting the president for his remarks, calling it out of bounds for a foreign head of state to weigh in on another country’s domestic affairs.
It will be interesting to see, after the British people have told him to bugger off, what kind of relations Obama will carry on with the UK.