'Brexit' Vote: Why Britain Could Quit E.U. and Why America Cares

by Mac William Bishop and Alastair Jamieson

Britain will vote on whether to leave the European Union in a national referendum on June 23 that could have profound implications for the U.S. Here's what you need to know.

Why is this happening now?

British Prime Minister David Cameron is fulfilling a promise to negotiate a better deal for his country in the European Union and to put the new terms to a national vote. It was an act of pre-election political expediency — a way to unite the two sides of his Conservative party which has been bitterly divided over the issue of Europe.