On 23 June, in the UK took place the referendum: should the country remain within the European Union or go it alone – Brexit.
The final result went 52 to 48 per cent in favour of Brexit. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting and it was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.
As a result Prime Minister David Cameron resigned after the UK voted to leave the European Union and on 14th July Conservative Party leader Theresa May became the UK’s second female prime minister.
Votes differed by countries – Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leave. The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said that it was “democratically unacceptable” for Scotland to be yanked out of the EU against its will as two years ago Scots voted to stay within the UK and EU. The first minister indicated that she would first speak to EU leaders, to see if Scotland could secure any sort of deal.
David Williamson, Political Editor at Media Wales says that the Brexit result is a big surprise because there had always been the fear that Wales could be dragged out of the EU against its will.
A major report by Cardiff University this year found that Wales receives £245m more from the EU than it pays in – the equivalent of £79 a head. Wales has received around £4bn in EU funding since 2000.
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said that the people of Wales must be given a say in the final deal that sees the UK leave the European Union. He said the final settlement should be approved by all four UK parliaments, “without revisiting the result”. He also pointed out that there were hundreds of vital EU-funded projects across Wales whose future was “now in the balance” without a funding guarantee.