Thomas the Tank Engine and Folkestone have been connected on social media

A majority of British voters decided that the United Kingdom should leave theEuropean Union, and Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation. Global markets are moving wildly, and currencies are making big moves, but the actual political process will be much, much slower.

First — technically speaking — the referendum is not legally binding. In theory,Cameron, who plans to leave by October, could ignore the will of a slight majority of voters, and not make any moves to exit the political and economic bloc.

But Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the EU, is likely to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which begins the legal process for leaving the bloc.

“The British people have made the very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” he said Friday in a televised address outside his residence. “I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”

Once Article 50 is invoked, a series of negotiations would begin about how to disentangle the U.K. from the many EU structures to which it is a party. The process could take two years or more, if both the U.K. and the European Council agree to extend the discussion period.

Cameron has said this process would be irreversible.

“We should be clear that this process is not an invitation to rejoin, it is a process for leaving,” he said in February.

Some have suggested that British leadership could avoid invoking Article 50 all together, and would instead attempt to negotiate a different — not entirely separate — relationship with the EU.

In the more immediate term, markets are going to react in a big way. The Brexit has no historic precedent. No precedent means volatility in markets, probably on a global scale.

If there’s one near-definite result that experts can safely predict around a Brexit, it’s that it increases the amount of uncertainty in markets. Market watchers have predicted a global flight to safer assets — and indeed, that appears to have already begun: Gold futures, the classic safe-haven asset, rose more than 8 percent at one point, before paring some of those gains. gives headlines

  • Cameron to leave as Prime Minister by October
  • Pound falls to lowest level in 30 years
  • Bank of England ready with £250 billion war chest
  • Farage tips Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden to leave EU
  • Scotland FM says independence vote ‘on the table’
  • Johnson denies ‘pulling up drawbridge’ to Europe


BRITAIN’S youth have taken to Twitter to share their regret at the decision to leave the European Union using the hashtag #notmyvote.

The 52 to 48 per cent decision in favour of leaving the EU defied pollsters, bookies and market expectations on Friday, forcing Prime Minister David Cameron to resign and financial markets to shed billions of dollars.

It’s also led to huge question marks over issues like visa-free travel in the eurozone, passports, house prices and reciprocal healthcare that could take months to work out.

Voting results showed the country deeply divided with 16.1 million people mainly in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voting in favour of Remain. Meanwhile 17.4 million others throughout the rest of the country voted in favour of Leave with a total turnout of more than 70 per cent.

For young people, the result is a bitter pill to swallow. YouGov figures show 18-24 year olds voted overwhelmingly in favour of Remain at 75 per cent to 25 per cent who wanted to Leave.

The majority of those aged 25 to 49 also wanted to stay, at 59 per cent compared to 44 per cent of those who wanted to part ways.
Those figures were reversed for people between 50 and 64 of whom 44 per cent said Remain and 56 per cent Leave. For those aged over 65, it was a 61 per cent vote for Leave and 39 per cent for Remain.

The statistics are particularly pertinent given that 16 and 17-year-olds were excluded from voting in the referendum that occurred for the first time in 43 years.

That’s at odds with the situation in the Scottish referendum and has attracted cricisim for blocking their vote on something that will likely affect them for most of their working lives.

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron said: “Young people voted to remain by a considerable margin, but were outvoted. They were voting for their future, yet it has been taken from them.”

Young people took to Twitter to share their displeasure with some calling for a second referendum and crashing the government petition website to demand one. Others chided them for not accepting the result on the day.