United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation on Friday morning, just hours after the results of a dramatic referendum showed that the British people had voted to leave the European Union.
“The country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction,” Cameron said in a short public statement he delivered outside his Downing Street office in London.
“I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months. But I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” Cameron said. “This is not a decision I have taken lightly,” he added.
Cameron, who has been prime minister since 2010, was a vocal opponent of the exiting the EU, a process nicknamed Brexit.
He did not give a specific date for when he would leave office, but said he would stay in place for another three months with an eye to the country having a new prime minister by October.
“A negotiation with the EU will need to begin under a new prime minister,” Cameron said. That new prime minister should be the one to start the formal process of leaving the EU, which involves triggering Article 50, he added.