David Cameron has announced that he plans to step down as Prime Minister following an unparalleled vote by the UK to leave the European Union in yesterday’s referendum.
This morning, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, David Cameron addressed the nation:
“I have always believed that we have to confront big decisions, not duck them.
“It’s why I made the pledge to bring the vote on the EU referendum.
“I held nothing back. I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger and better off inside the European Union.
“But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path. As such, the country requires fresh leadership. I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its destination.”
The EU referendum, which was called by David Cameron, resulted in 52% of the British public voting in favour of Brexit.
Revealing a divided country, the Remain campaign achieved 16,141,241 votes, while the Leave campaign won the vote with 17,410,742, making the final split 51.9% Leave to 48.1% Remain.
The result, which has astonished the world, will end the UK’s 43-year union with the EU and has sent shockwaves through the financial markets.
The pound has fallen to a 30-year low and the UK is now reportedly poorer than France. The FTSE 100 fell as much as 8.7% when the London market opened this morning and experts are saying the hit could be worse than the 2008 crisis.
Toby Nangle, head of multi-asset allocation for EMEA at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said the markets were ‘clearly unprepared’ for a Brexit outcome.
“As such we are now entering a period of profound economic, financial and political uncertainty.”
“We lack a clear vision of what future relationship the United Kingdom will have with its largest trading partner, the timescale of the exit, and the configuration of the domestic party political landscape after a brutal campaign.”
Markets recovered slightly when the Bank of England announced it would safeguard the country’s financial stability, and investment bank bosses have come together to reassure employees and investors alike.
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs stated: “We will adapt to change.” While Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays, comforted investors, saying:
“We will not break our stride in delivering the Barclays of the future.”