Remembering 2016 World News: Brexit

Brexit and the rise of populism in Europe

 (Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP)
(Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP)

The equivalent of a political earthquake struck Europe on June 23, when in a referendum over the United Kingdom’s future in the European Union, 52% voted to leave .

The vote was a measure of widespread unease over immigration, unemployment and the perception that bureaucrats in Brussels were calling too many of the shots. It led to Prime Minister David Cameron’s immediate resignation, replaced by Theresa May , who set a timetable for extricating Britain from the EU by the summer of 2019 .

But Britain wasn’t the only country roiling with newly energized populist sentiment. Nationalists across Europe — in Germany, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere — were riding the same wave of populismthat seemed to propel Donald Trump into power across the Atlantic.

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