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This Day In Market History: Brexit Vote Rocks Europe

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date. What Happened? On June 23, 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom approved a referendum to withdraw from the European Union.

Benzinga · -

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On June 23, 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom approved a referendum to withdraw from the European Union.

Where The Market Was: The S&P 500 closed at $2,113.32, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at $18,011.07.

What Else Was Going On In The World? Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of sitting president Barack Obama, Zika prompted the World Health Organization to recommend delaying pregnancy in stricken areas, and the U.S. was about to lift its ban on transgender people in the military.

Great Britain Says Bye-Bye: In a vote that drew more than 72% turnout, UK citizens decided to remove themselves from the European Union and its common market. The legally non-binding decision represented a 52-48 split — with the global financial markets siding with the losers. The session after the polls closed, the Dow Jones shed 241 points.

British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned the next day and was succeeded by Theresa May, who initiated the withdrawal on March 29 of the following year. May set a timeline for official removal on March 29, 2019, when Brexit negotiations were set to expire.

Negotiations stalled and led to multiple deadline extensions, May’s resignation, and Boris Johnson’s appointment as prime minister. The UK finally formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, and entered a transition period through Dec. 31.

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