SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Voters in the United Kingdom sent a loud message, and now the world is watching with uncertainty.
An overwhelming 17 million people in the UK voted to leave the European Union. World markets are suffering, and the first political casualty was British Prime Minister, David Cameron. He pushed to stay in the EU, and as a result of the vote resigned.
“I think he’s been one of the strong leaders on the world stage over the last few years. I have much more in common with him than I have differences with him. I think he’ll be missed,” said Representative, Chris Stewart.
The Brexit is part of a sweeping anti-establishment culture in the UK. Supporters are angry about immigration and trade policies and regulations being forced by the EU. Stewart says he respects the people’s voice.
“The people of Great Britain said you know, we have ceded so much of our freedom, so much of the decision making to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and I think they just resented that,” said Stewart.
Stewart expects our relationship with the UK to remain the same as it works on the separation, a process that could take up to two years. In the short term our 401k’s and retirement investments are at risk, but local officials believe it will bounce back as the uncertainty settles.
“I’m confident that if indeed they do decide to move forward with this referendum, and actually take the legal steps that are necessary to get out of the EU that they will be very focused on making sure that that does not disrupt their trade. And that’s good news for Utah, because UK is our largest trading partner,” said World Trade Center Utah President and CEO, Derek Miller.
Utah Senator, Mike Lee plans to introduce legislation requiring our country to honor current agreements with the UK until new agreements can be negotiated.
The UK will be the first major European country to leave the union since it joined 48 years ago.