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The Editors

A Bad Day for Europe

Britain's decision to leave the EU will hurt European economies and its own.
No time to gloat, Boris.

No time to gloat, Boris.

Photographer: Carl Court/Getty Images
Updated on

This was never supposed to happen. Three years ago, when U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron promised his country a referendum on remaining a member of the European Union, he was sure of victory. The country had other ideas. On Thursday Britain voted to quit.

It’s a momentous choice -- and not in a good way. The immediate risk to Britain’s economy is grave, because the vote creates enormous uncertainty. This is likely to persist for months, until it becomes clear what kind of new trading rules will govern Britain’s economic relationship with Europe and the rest of the world.