Earthquake in Britain as Country Leaves EU

british flagHistory was made in the United Kingdom yesterday as citizens voted to leave the European Union, proving that the United States is not the only country experiencing a popular rebellion against the status quo, particularly when it comes to immigration.

The Associated Press is reporting on the results of the historic referendum which found 52 percent of voters opting to leave the European Union. Turnout was particularly high with an estimated 72 percent of more than 46 million registered voters going to the polls.

Nigel Farage, president of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) called the vote “a victory for ordinary people, against the big banks, big business and big politics.”

Of particular concern to citizens as they went to vote yesterday was the inability of EU bureaucrats to do anything to stem the tide of immigrants that has seen more than one million people from the Middle East and Africa flood into Europe in the past year. Proponents of the “leave” campaign have accused this excessive immigration of taxing Britain’s housing market, public services and employment rolls. Although leaders promised more than a year ago to come up with reforms, critics say they were “hollow” and left England at the mercy of EU bureaucrats.

Political fallout is already happening with Prime Minister David Cameron announcing his resignation this morning, saying that he will stay on for three months to calm the markets. He will almost certainly be replaced by the popular Boris Johnson, also a member of the Conservative Party and a staunch supporter of the move to leave the EU.

The decision launches a years-long process to renegotiate trade, business and political links between the UK and the 27 members who remain in the EU. Responding to the prospect of a bumpy road ahead, stock markets plummeted around the world. The pound fell to its lowest level since 1985 due to fears that the move will hurt the UK economy and undermine London’s position as a global financial center.

“The U.K. would be the first major country to leave the EU, which was born from the ashes of World War II as European leaders sought to build links and avert future hostility. With no precedent, the impact on the single market of 500 million people — the world’s largest economy — is unclear,” the AP reports.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, says the bloc will meet next week to assess its future. He will also have to deal with rumblings of discontent in other countries where political leaders are already calling for a similar referendum.

Frustration with tone-deaf political elites isn’t a plague known only to Europe as Americans also struggle with the same sentiment. And much like their European counterparts, they too are experiencing the same conflict between wanting to “welcome the stranger” and leaving the door open to potential terrorists.

In the meantime, our British neighbors will endure many years of hard work before establishing themselves as an independent nation for the first time in decades.

But for many, it will be a loving labor.

“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” Farage said when the results were announced. “Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day!”

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