Voters have voted in favor of Brexit: British exit from the European Union. That means that in the coming months, British and European leaders will begin negotiating the terms of Britain’s departure.
Britain’s exit will affect the British economy, immigration policy, and lots more. It will take years for the full consequences to become clear. But here are some of the most important changes we can expect in the coming months.
In the short run, uncertainty about Britain’s future relationship with the EU, its largest trading partner, could push the UK into a recession. Market watchers predict an “explosion of volatility” on Friday morning as the markets process the implications of Britain’s exit. Many economists expect both the British stock market and the pound to open lower on Friday morning. Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, even hinted that he could suspend stock market trading if Britons voted to exit the EU.
In the long run, the situation could be worse. If Cameron’s government falls, Britain’s prospects of negotiating a favorable deal with the EU could be weakened. The EU may decide to strike a hard bargain to discourage other countries from leaving the EU. Or the UK’s new leader might not be willing to accept the kind of restrictions that come with a Norway-style deal.