Just hours after EU referendum results, British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his decision to step down from his post. With the Leave campaign securing 52 percent of the votes, Britain would be leaving the European Union — 43 years after it joined the common European market. In 2013, Prime Minister Cameron had promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

Media reports suggest that Prime Minister and his advisors were “shocked” at the outcome, as most of the polls in the run-up to the Thursday’s vote were suggesting a “comfortable margin” in favour those campaigning to stay in the EU.

London-based newspaper The Guardian reports:

David Cameron has resigned as prime minister after the British public rejected his personal entreaties and voted to leave the European Union.

“The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered,” the prime minister said, his voice breaking with emotion, and his wife, Samantha, standing beside him in Downing Street on Friday morning.

Cameron promised to remain in post until the autumn, to “steady the ship”, but said: “I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain who steers the country to its next destination.”

The leading German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung called the British electoral verdict a “historic catastrophe for Europe” — angrily adding that “Britain has made a mockery of itself in the world”. German’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called it a “bad day for Europe”. His cabinet colleague, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also echoed similar sentiments.

Apparently, having learned nothing from the fresh debacle in the UK referendum, President of the European parliament Martin Schulz doubled down on the European Project, warning those now in France also wanting to follow the British example, stand to lose “all the privileges.”

After a clear victory for the Brexit campaign, other European countries such as France, Denmark and the Netherlands with high-level of dissatisfaction with the functioning of the EU could hold similar referenda.

Prime Minister Cameron will stay in office till the ruling Conservative Party elects a new leader ahead of its party convention in October 2016.

Video: David Cameron resigns following UK’s EU referendum result to leave EU

[Cover image courtesy Guardian Wires, YouTube] [Writer is an analyst reporting from the Netherlands]

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