Brexit: Britain bids adieu to EU
With the UK's fate in the EU on a knife-edge, millions of Britons voted in the historic referendum in June that was to decide on whether the country will stay in or leave the 28-nation bloc after an acrimonious campaign
London: With the UK's fate in the EU on a knife-edge, millions of Britons voted in the historic referendum in June that was to decide on whether the country will stay in or leave the 28-nation bloc after an acrimonious campaign.
51.9 percent, or 17.4 million people, voted to leave the EU while 48.1 percent, or 16.1 million people, voted to stay in the EU. UK's withdrawal from the European Union is widely known as Brexit, a portmanteau of "British exit". UK also lost its top AAA credit rating from ratings agency S&P while Fitch lowered its rating from AA+ to AA.
Soon after, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced to step down after the country voted to leave the EU, ending its 43-year membership with the 28-nation bloc.
Carnage came to world markets, with regional markets sliding and sterling wallowing near three-decade lows as Britain`s shock vote to exit the European Union continued to roil financial markets. The vote wiped $2.1 trillion from global equity markets.
The yield on British 10-year government bonds fell below one percent for the first time due to investors betting that the Brexit vote would trigger a Bank of England interest rate cut aimed at steading the economy.
Investors' wealth in Indian stock market took a hit of nearly Rs 1.8 lakh crore as Dalal Street felt the heat of Brexit.
The aftershocks of Britain`s decision to leave the EU also hit the property sector, with foreign bank freezing loans for buyers and some investors pulling out of commercial deals.
However, protesters waving banners against voters' decision to leave the EU marched through London, with banners and placards showing slogans such as "No Brex Please, We're British", "Europe Innit", "I wanna be deep inside EU", "All EU Need is Love", and "Science Needs EU" could be seen during the demonstration.
Reports soon began pouring that three-quarters of British company bosses are considering moving operations abroad following Brexit.
Fear soon led to news that big corporate houses like JP Morgan which has 16,000 employees in Britain might shift its headquarters are in London. Banks based in the UK could sell services freely across the EU under a "passporting" system, considered the most significant feature of the EU single market for financial firms. But it was in doubt after Britons voted to leave the bloc.
Sensing the possibility of sudden, new trade barriers and at least initially causing a selloff in global financial markets, analysts predicted this will weigh on consumption and investor confidence with the IMF too warning of possibly greater risks for global growth.
Britain witnessed a surprise drop in claims for unemployment benefits in July, the immediate aftermath of Brexit.
In July, Theresa May became Britain's second woman prime minister after Margaret Thatcher, vowing to forge "a bold new positive role" for the UK in the world post-Brexit.
More than 4.1 million people signed a petition demanding a second referendum on European Union membership but Britain`s government ruled out a second referendum saying that it is preparing to trigger the formal divorce proceedings.
Theresa May has said she will not kick off formal negotiations this year to give the government time to prepare, but will do so before the end of March next year.