Britain Votes for Brexit

Counting gets underway in the UK referendum on membership in the European Union
Counting gets underway in the UK referendum on membership in the European Union

Historical Context

The UK's membership in the European Union had been a thorny issue for many in British politics, particularly Eurosceptic members of the Conservative Party. In order to put the issue to bed once and for all, in 2013 then-Prime Minister David Cameron announced a plan for a referendum on the country's membership in the EU.

Except the issue was not put to bed. Cameron and many senior government officials campaigned to stay in the EU, while others, such as Boris Johnson, campaigned to leave. On June 23, 2016, the UK voted to leave by 52% to 48%. This was an unexpected shock result and David Cameron resigned as a result.

British politics has been in turmoil ever since. Theresa May was elected leader, and has overseen the negotiations to leave for three years, only to have her deal voted down by Parliament three times. The original Brexit date was March 29, 2019, but this has since been postponed to 31 October 2019 as the UK attempts to find a way out of the crisis.

Photo Info


Photographer: Steve Bowbrick
Date taken: June 24, 2016
Location taken: Borehamwood, England, United Kingdom

Source: Flickr

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