© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
David Cameron to quit As UK votes to leave EU
Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down by October after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Speaking outside his office at 10 Downing Street, he said he would attempt to “steady the ship” over the coming weeks and months but that “fresh leadership” was needed.
The PM had urged the country to vote Remain but was defeated by 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.
Cameron said he had informed the Queen of his decision to remain in place for the short term and to then hand over to a new prime minister by the time of the Conservative conference in October.
“It would be for the new prime minister to carry out negotiations with the EU and invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal,” he said.
“The British people have voted to leave the EU and their will must be respected. The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered,” he added.
The referendum turnout was 71.8% – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.
Meanwhile, Nigel Farage leader of the UK Independence Party, UKIP, has hailed the decision to leave the EU describing it as the UK’s “independence day”.
Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – told cheering supporters “this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people”.
Pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and Michael Gove, a popular conservative MP had signed a letter to Prime Minister Cameron, urging him to stay on whatever the result.
The European Parliament is to hold an emergency session on Tuesday, June 28, to discuss the referendum result.
However, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said that the EU vote “makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union” after all 32 local authority areas returned majorities for Remain.
Sturgeon says the option of a second referendum on Scotland’s independence “must be on the table” because the country faces the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will.
She says a “significant and material change in circumstances” had occurred since Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom in 2014.
But since the UK had voted to leave the EU, the Scottish government “will begin to prepare the legislation required” for a second referendum to take place.
The BREXIT vote does not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc.
That process could take a minimum of two years, and “Leave” campaigners are suggesting that it should not be completed until 2020, the date of the next scheduled general election.