With the last votes being counted June 24, the UK has voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union in a huge blow to the EU which will send shockwaves around the world.
Cameron staked his political career on campaigning to keep Britain in the European Union against a backdrop of growing euroskepticism within his own Conservative Party. However, what did for him was his 'Project Fear' campaign, which — ultimately — backfired on him.
Facing a huge rise in anti-Brussels sentiment, Cameron was forced to offer his party and his country an In-Out referendum on the UK's membership of the EU. Once declared, he set about predicting doom and gloom in the event of a Brexit.
The biggest guns in the world were wheeled out in favor of Cameron's campaign. US President Barack Obama — visiting London at the start of the campaign — said the UK would be at the "back of the queue" if it left the EWU and started negotiations on a new trade deal with the US.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, warned: "We have looked at all the scenarios. We have done our homework and we haven't found anything positive to say about a Brexit vote."
Cameron himself invoked memories of the Battles of Waterloo and Trafalgar in suggesting that turning its back on the EU could put Britain at risk of a new war. "Isolationism has never served this country well. Whenever we turn our back on Europe, sooner or later we come to regret it. And if things go wrong in Europe, let's not pretend we can be immune from the consequences," he said.
His Chancellor, George Osborne drew criticism after suggesting an emergency budget — in the event of a Brexit — would see taxes rise and massive cuts to public spending. "Far from freeing up money to spend on public services as the leave campaign would like you to believe, quitting the EU would mean less money. Billions less. It's a lose-lose situation for British families and we shouldn't risk it," he warned.
In the end, 'Project Fear' was a disaster. The more people were told that quitting the EU would spell catastrophe for Britain, the more angry they became.The turnout for the referendum was 72.2 percent — the largest for any UK poll since 1992.
In Brussels, Friday (June 24) sources told Sputnik there is deep despair. The fear of a domino effect is palpable, with many France, the Netherlands and Germany calling for their own referendums on EU membership. The European migrant crisis has left the EU in crisis and shown the failings of the Brussels machine to draw together cohesion within the union.
In the UK, however, Cameron is facing an even bigger issue: Scotland voted to remain in the EU, just two years after its own referendum on remaining in the United Kingdom. With England and Wales voting to leave the EU, there are now calls for a second Scottish independence referendum, splitting the UK. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, putting it ad odds with England and Wales.
No country has ever invoked article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the EU and an emergency summit of EU leaders is likely to be called next week. With such a body-blow being dealt by the British public over the EU, they will have their work cut out to keep the whole European project from falling apart.