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The Brexit referendum was held on 23 June 2016. It was a vote on whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union or stay in the Union. The Leave side won 51-49.

On 16 June 2016, exactly a week before the referendum was due to take place, pro-Remain MP Jo Cox was stabbed and shot to death. The suspect, Thomas Mair, has since been taken into custody. The timing of this incident was highly suspicious, however it did nothing to change the vote.

The vote revealed that Britons were about evenly divided on the issue. Regardless of the outcome, Britain is likely to remain part of the European economy and to pay for access to it.[1] Nevertheless, celebrities and the Left exploited Cox's death in order to push the Remain vote, for example Paloma Faith and J.K. Rowling. Elizabeth Hurley, however, backed the Leave vote by posting a naked photo of herself holding a Union Jack pillow on Twitter.[2]

Many millennials reacted in disappointment after the referendum - a 22-year-old woman was recorded crying because she thought Brexit meant that all the Nando's (a South African chain) restaurants in the UK would shut down. Disparaging remarks against the elderly were also made.

A 16 May poll by the Jewish Chronicle had found that 49% of Jews wanted the UK to remain in the EU, while 34% chose a Brexit.[3]

In November 2016, the invocation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which allows EU member states to leave, was blocked by the High Court. Theresa May, however, has said she will make sure Brexit goes ahead. Despite the efforts of Remainers to block the Brexit bill, it was passed 498-114 on 1 February 2017. May then stated that Article 50 will be invoked on 9 March.[4] The date was later changed to the 29th.

On 29 March 2017, Theresa May signed the letter invoking Article 50, which was handed to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, at 12:30 GMT.