By now you’ve heard the term, possibly to the point of exhaustion: Brexit. This is the word that’s been invented to describe the idea of the UK formally bailing on the European Union, and as of the end of June it was no longer an idea. The UK did vote to leave the EU in an official referendum that left most of the world stunned. Pretty much everyone with an eye on the situation in the UK had expected the referendum to result in a decision to remain attached to the EU, but it wasn’t to be. The UK is now “independent,” so to speak, and the world is still getting used to it.
In case you’ve been breezing through headlines on this and need a little bit of catching up on just how dramatic it’s been, here’s a look at the five craziest things that have happened in connection with the UK’s EU referendum.
1. The Pound Plummeted
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t particularly shocking to see the British pound lose some strength in the aftermath of a political decision with major (and largely unknown) economic consequences. But the rapidity and severity with which the pound declined was pretty wild to watch. Suffice it to say, the pound reached a 31-year low in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit. It’s a pretty traumatic situation for a lot of people in the UK â€” but then, if you’ve been wanting to visit the country, now might be the perfect time to do it (more on this later).
2. A Betting Record Was Set
Needless to say, bookkeepers weren’t too happy about the Brexit result. The house money was on the referendum resulting in a decision to remain in the EU, and any time there’s a result this surprising the bookies are going to need to pay up to the bold customers who bet on the “underdog” decision. But aside from bookies being disgruntled about this outcome, they were also surprised by the fact that the Brexit set a new betting record, with a total of Â£120 million wagered around the country. That was the most for any event not connected to sports.
3. Donald Trump Advertised His Golf Course
It wouldn’t be an article about crazy world events without something about the U.S. election, and sure enough Donald Trump managed to attach himself to the weirdness of the Brexit. Trump was in Scotland promoting the Turnberry golf course for his own companies and for his son, and while that’s perfectly understandable for a businessman known for resort properties, it was a pretty bizarre move (no matter how you feel about the candidate) given the politics of the time. Plus, remember that comment about now being the time to visit the UK? Trump was quick to recognize this concept, stating at one point that more people would visit the golf course now.
4. Major Politicians Resigned
Almost right away, Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down from his post. Cameron pretty much led the fight for those who wanted to remain in the EU, and while “resigned in disgrace” sounds harsh, that’s more or less what happened. At least he looked cheerful enough at centre court of Wimbledon a few weeks later while a victorious Andy Murray thanked him for attending and joked that he’d rather compete in a high pressure tennis tournament than try to be PM. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson, the ex-London mayor who championed the Brexit cause, was expected to want to try to be PM, but withdrew his candidacy after the referendum. This was just one of many things that left the pro-Brexit voters somewhat disillusioned as to what kind of movement they’d signed up for.
5. The New PM Came In Swinging
Naturally, someone has to be Prime Minister, and that’s where prominent Conservative Party MP Theresa May saw opportunity. May is now the Prime Minister, and she’s not messing around. The newly anointed PM has already disbanded a climate change department and stated that she wouldn’t hesitate to use a nuclear weapon to kill 100,000 people. It’s still pretty early, but this last one appears to be the craziest piece of Brexit fallout yet.