Brexit Referendum: United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union

Visual representation of Brexit. (Photo/shutterstock)


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. 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.

British politics has been in turmoil ever since. Although the referendum was legally non-binding, the government of the time promised to implement the result. The succeeding government, led by Theresa May, initiated the official withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, meaning that the UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019 (when the two-year period for Brexit negotiations was due to expire). This negotiation period was later extended until 31 October 2019. After Theresa May failed to secure the backing of Parliament on her Brexit deal, she resigned as Prime Minister and was succeeded by Boris Johnson. Johnson was then forced to extend the negotiation period again until 31 January. At 11 pm GMT on 31 January 2020, the UK officially withdrew from the EU.


Compiled by: Salman Ahmed

Published on Law Recorder Pakistan on June 23, 2020

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