Winners, losers from Britain’s EU vote

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LONDON: Here are the political winners and losers from Britain’s EU membership referendum, after the country voted to leave the 28-member alliance:

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Losers

– DAVID CAMERON

There was widespread agreement among experts before the referendum that the prime minister, who put his integrity on the line for a “Remain” vote, could not survive losing.

Within hours of the result, he announced his resignation.

Standing outside his official Downing Street residence, he said he could no longer be “the captain that steers our country to its next destination.”

He said he would stay on to “steady the ship” over the next few months but added that a new leader should be in place by early October.

– GEORGE OSBORNE

Finance Minister Osborne stood by his ally Cameron’s side during the campaign and fronted many of the warnings of the economic risks of a Brexit.

Although long tipped as a future Conservative leader, his fervent support for “Remain,” including calling his rivals “economically illiterate” for backing the “Leave” campaign, has lost him many friends in the party.

The Daily Telegraph dubbed him the “kamikaze chancellor” after he warned in the final days that a “Leave” vote would force him to rip up his current budgetary plans, slash funding to schools and hospitals and raise taxes.

– JEREMY CORBYN

The socialist leader of the main opposition Labor Party was criticized for his lukewarm support for the “Remain” campaign and he is being blamed for the decision by swathes of Labor voters to back a Brexit.

Senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge tabled a no confidence motion on Friday. The motion does not have formal status but is expected to be discussed at the next meeting of Labor MPs.

Winners

– BORIS JOHNSON

The former London mayor was a key figurehead in the official campaign for Britain to leave the EU, urging Britain to “take back control” from Brussels.

His charisma and unorthodox approach to politics won over many voters, and ensured he was always in the headlines — not always for the right reasons.

The Conservative lawmaker was widely criticized for claiming that the EU was behaving like Hitler in trying to create a superstate.

But he has long been the bookmakers’ favorite to replace Cameron.

Critics accused him of backing Brexit more because he wanted to oust Cameron from Downing Street than because he wanted Britain out of the EU.

– NIGEL FARAGE

The vote to leave the European Union is a culmination of 25 years of campaigning for the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

A surge in support for Farage’s anti-immigration, anti-establishment party helped force Cameron into calling the referendum three years ago.

But the MEP was widely condemned by fellow members of the Brexit camp for his relentless focus on how leaving the EU would help cut levels of immigration to Britain.

He faced particular criticism over a campaign poster of queuing refugees with the headline “Breaking Point” unveiled on the same day as the murder of pro-EU Labor lawmaker Jo Cox.

– MICHAEL GOVE

The justice minister, hitherto a Cameron loyalist and close friend, was the most high-profile Conservative cabinet minister to break ranks with the Prime Minister.

He said the prime minister made a “depressing” case for staying in, although he managed better than many of his colleagues in holding off on personal attacks against Cameron.

Too early to tell

– NICOLA STURGEON

Scotland’s first minister and leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party (SNP), Sturgeon had strongly backed a vote to remain in the EU.

But she also indicated a “Leave” vote could lead to a second Scottish independence referendum after one in 2014 which backed Scotland staying in Britain.

Scotland voted strongly in favor of EU membership by 62 percent to 38 percent.

She told reporters on Friday that a second referendum within two years was “highly likely.” AFP

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