DAVID CAMERON’s RESIGNATION SPEECH
Good morningeveryone, the country has just taken part in a giant democratic exercise,perhaps the biggest in our history.
Over 33 millionpeople from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have all hadtheir say.
We should be proudof the fact that in these islands we trust the people for these big decisions.
We not only have aparliamentary democracy, but on questions about the arrangements for how we'vegoverned there are times when it is right to ask the people themselves and thatis what we have done.
The British peoplehave voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected.
I want to thankeveryone who took part in the campaign on my side of the argument, includingall those who put aside party differences to speak in what they believe was thenational interest and let me congratulate all those who took part in the Leavecampaign for the spirited and passionate case that they made.
The will of theBritish people is an instruction that must be delivered.
It was not adecision that was taken lightly, not least because so many things were said byso many different organisations about the significance of this decision.
So there can be nodoubt about the result.
Across the worldpeople have been watching the choice that Britain has made.
I would reassurethose markets and investors that Britain's economy is fundamentally strong andI would also reassure Britons living in European countries and Europeancitizens living here there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances.
There will be noinitial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can moveor the way our services can be sold.
We must nowprepare for a negotiation with the European Union.
This will need toinvolve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irelandgovernments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom areprotected and advanced.
But above all thiswill require strong, determined and committed leadership.
I'm very proud andvery honored to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.
I believe we'vemade great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history,with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people's life chances,building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorestpeople in the world and enabling those who love each other to get marriedwhatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain's economic strength.
And I'm gratefulto everyone who's helped to make that happen.
I have also alwaysbelieved that we have to confront big decisions, not duck them.
That is why wedelivered the first coalition government in 70 years, to bring our economy backfrom the brink.
It's why wedelivered a fair, legal and decisive referendum in Scotland.
And it's why Imade the pledge to renegotiate Britain's position in the European Union and tohold the referendum on our membership and have carried those things out.
I fought thiscampaign in the only way I know how, which is to say directly and passionatelywhat I think and feel—head, heart and soul.
I held nothingback. I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, saferand better off inside the European Union and I made clear the referendum wasabout this and this alone - not the future of any single politician includingmyself.
But the Britishpeople have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such Ithink the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.
I will doeverything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks andmonths but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captainthat steers our country to its next destination.
This is not adecision I've taken lightly but I do believe it's in the national interest tohave a period of stability and then the new leadership required.
There is no needfor a precise timetable today but in my view we should aim to have a new primeminister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.
Deliveringstability will be important and I will continue in post as Prime Minister withmy Cabinet for the next three months.
The Cabinet willmeet on Monday, the Governor of the Bank of England is making a statement aboutthe steps that the Bank and the Treasury are taking to reassure financialmarkets.
We will alsocontinue taking forward the important legislation that we set before Parliamentin the Queen's Speech.
And I have spokento Her Majesty the Queen this morning to advise her of the steps that I amtaking.
A negotiation withthe European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I thinkit's right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when totrigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU.
I will attend theEuropean Council next week to explain the decision the British people havetaken and my own decision.
The British peoplehave made a choice, that not only needs to be respected but those on the losingside of the argument—myself included—should help to make it work.
Britain is aspecial country—we have so many great advantages—a parliamentary democracywhere we resolve great issues about our future through peaceful debate, a greattrading nation with our science and arts, our engineering and our creativity,respected the world over.
And while we arenot perfect I do believe we can be a model for the multi-racial, multi-faithdemocracy, where people can come and make a contribution and rise to the veryhighest that their talent allows.
Although leavingEurope was not the path I recommended, I am the first to praise our incrediblestrengths.
I said before thatBritain can survive outside the European Union and indeed that we could find away.
Now the decisionhas been made to leave, we need to find the best way and I will do everything Ican to help.
I love thiscountry and I feel honored to have served it and I will do everything I can infuture to help this great country succeed. Thank you very much.
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