As well as negotiating new trade relations with the European Union, the British government must now also select a new Prime Minister (Pictured during the 37th G8 summit in Deauville, France in 2011)
This UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would step down by October, following yesterday’s referendum result supporting a British exit – or Brexit – from the European Union.
The markets responded with historically high level of volatility – especially in terms of sterling’s value against the dollar and at the FTSE 100. This in turn led to calming statements from Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who reassured investors of Britain’s financial capabilities and contingencies.
However, just as senior conservative party members were saying party leader and prime minister David Cameron should on and see the UK through the Brexit, Cameron gave a speech on the steps of number 10 Downing Street effectively resigning. In short, he suggested the country needed fresh leadership after his failed remain campaign.
Perhaps choosing this moment on the basis that things couldn’t get much worse in terms of market volatility, Cameron also sought to reassure investors that “…Britain’s economy is fundamentally strong.”
Cameron also clarified that there will be no immediate impact on trade, immigration and border control protocols: “And I would also reassure Brits living in European countries, and European citizens living here, that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances. There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.”
Moving forward “we must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union” Cameron said in his resignation speech, adding: “This will need to involve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced.”
Once article 50 of the Lisbon treaty is enacted, the formal process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European union begins. This will take roughly two years to complete.
It is too early to say how will succeed Cameron, but as the Prime Minster said in his speech “above all this will require strong, determined and committed leadership”.