Brexit to Nexit: What Happens Now that the U.K. Voted to Leave the EU?
A divided UK voted to leave the European Union last week, and Brits are coming to therealization of what it all means.
We spoke with Daniela Schwarzer, director of the Europe Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, to learn more about what comes next. The following Q&A was edited for clarity and length.
PBS NewsHour: What happens now?
Daniela Schwarzer: First of all, the UK will have to figure out how to move forward. The referendum is nonbinding, so the prime minister will have to decide what to make of it.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has already said he will step down from office in October and that he wants to leave the decision to invoke Article 50 — that’s the clause of the EU treaty to negotiate an exit from the European Union — to his successor. So there are probably at least four months during which the UK will not start negotiating its exit from the European Union.
There is a possibility that the political meltdown in the UK moves ahead at such a pace that general elections might come up in the fall, and that could potentially delay the invoking of Article 50 even further.
The country generally is deeply divided between generations — the older people voted for Brexit, and a vast majority of the younger generation voted to stay in the EU. Also, several regions of the UK voted to stay in the European Union, like Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and London, and there are already discussions about the breakup of the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom at this moment is in a deep political crisis, which may turn into a constitutional crisis...