Living in Interesting Times

The Referendum Results

Leave:        17,410,742 = Vote Share 51.9%

 Remain:     16,141,241 = Vote Share 48.1%

The Figures

72.2% of the electorate  of 46,501,241 people voted and 51.9% of those casting valid votes voted to leave the European Union.
The nations of the United Kingdom voted differently.
62% of Scots voted to Remain.  That result may lead the Scottish Government to call for a second referendum to see whether Scotland should leave the UK in order to stay or to apply to join the European Union.
55% of Northern Island also voted to Remain.  Northern Island has a land border with the Republic of Ireland which country, of course, has no intention of leaving the EU.  There are voices in Northern Island who are now questioning  the possibility of a reunification of the island of Ireland.
Wales had results which were very similar to those of the UK:  Wales had a Leave majority of 52.5% – very close to the English Leave majority of 53.4%.
So, half of the people have preferred the view of UKIP and the other Brexiteers to the view of the Government, and the vast majority of the other parties.

The Prime Minister

david-cameron-resigningAfter consulting HM the Queen Mr Cameron announced this morning that he did not feel he could continue as Prime Minister after losing the referendum.
 He will continue in office ad interim but he wishes the Conservative party to select a new leader before the autumn party conference.
Mr Cameron also said that he will continue to work with the other EU leaders as normal but that he will not trigger the mechanism to trigger the leave process but leave that to his successor.

The Markets

Very properly, the FT article points out that overnight, sterling dived to a 30 year low, the Stock Exchange took a net 4.3% hit, bank stocks took a hammering and it looks as if the UK is going to loose its last triple A credit rating.
The Governor of the Bank of England made a short statement to reassure the markets that the Bank and the Treasury have taken their precautions and will be able to support the banks – which are in any event in much better nick than they were during the last recession.  That seemed to reassure the markets.
The Chinese have a curse:

 May you live in interesting times

Seems appropriate for today.

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