For good or for ill, the United Kingdom has decided to sail alone on the Atlantic's waters.
The citizens of the United Kingdom were asked if they wished to exit or remain in the European Union, and they voted BREXIT
This has caused a bit of a fuss and also the seemingly near total collapse of the British political system, with potentially far reaching consequences for the rest of Europe, the rest of the West and the rest of World. They haven't officially started to leave yet, but all it needs is for the Prime Minister to announce that Article 50 (the process a country uses to leave the EU) has been invoked and a 2 year countdown will start before the UK is booted out. Who're the main factions in this drama?
David Cameron, current sitting Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party
Cameron gave us the referendum. He had hoped that it would be a final answer to the European question, one that has dogged his party for generations. It was an answer, it was pretty final, it was not the one he wanted.
He has taken one look at this hot mess and basically promised to put out immediate fires and then peace the fuck out. He leaves his post politically relatively popular because he's shown a remarkable ability to know when to call it quits. His replacement is expected to be...
The Blonde Bombshell - Boris Johnson and the (relatively moderate) leavers
Boris, technically the most popular politician in the United Kingdom, led the Leave campaign. He won. We don't really think he actually expected to win. He now needs to A) Actually replace Cameron and B) fix this hot mess. He is doing everything he can to moderate between the two sides (now he's actually won) and stop things getting worse.
A lot of people blame him for what happened, but they're pretty relieved he's in charge and not...
Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and the not so moderate leavers
Farage has made it his political mission over the last couple of decades to bring us out of the EU. He has succeeded - And now it looks like everyone else is just going to freeze him out of all the meetings. Could this be the end of his political career now that his purpose is complete? Not exactly, as he now has his eyes set on the parliamentary seats currently owned by...
Comrade Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party
A pretty decent bloke who managed to become the leader of the opposition by promising a kinder, gentler politics. Seen as down to earth but controversial due to having beliefs of a stronger tone then the leader of a major political party is seen to supposed to have. He's historically been a eurosceptic, but campaigned for the Remain side in this referendum. He's got a lot to do to get the Labour party back into fighting shape, starting out with defeating his nemesis...
The Labour Party (Or at least the rest of its members of parliament)
They've not given Corbyn an easy ride so far. They believe that Corbyn's way of doing this appeals to the core of the Labour membership but is reviled by the voters they need to win over if they want to win another general election. There've been a number of smaller dramas but accusations that Corbyn secretly sabotaged their campaign to keep the UK in the EU due to his historical eurosceptic beliefs have led them to open revolt. While the knives are being drawn their northern holdings are being gobbled up by UKIP and...
Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party
The SNP failed to break Scotland away from the Union last year. They're ready to have another crack at it, citing the fact that everything has gone to shit south of the Scottish border as one of the main reasons they should have a do over on their referendum. Because the other major parties are currently imploding they're relatively unchallenged in Scotland. The only other party that seems to be having an OK time is...
Tim Farron's Liberal Democrats
Still working to get back the publics trust after they entered coalition with the conservative party in 2010, they're picking up steam because A) Their leadership is relentlessly committed to the EU and has promised to fight their way back in and B) they haven't exploded yet, unlike the Tories and the Labour party.
There are countless other characters in this - Across the ocean the leadership of the EU is attempting to sever ties with the UK quickly before anyone else gets any funny ideas about leaving. Unfortunately for them the British referendum has highlighted that voters may love the principles of the EU, but the actual EU leadership are seen as grey, controlling and distant. You have Northern Ireland that faces the prospect of an actual border between it and the rest of the island. You have the Green Party who are probably doing something.
In the middle of all of this British voters are asking "What now?"
And the worrying thing is that no one actually knows