< PrevNext > David Cameron, Former U.K. prime minister The Prime Minister of Unintended Consequences By Amon Cohen / December 20, 2016 Share Gove, Johnson, Farage, Corbyn. Were it not for the action of any one of a motley array of British politicians, Brexit probably never would have happened. But the person most directly responsible for the U.K. electorate's shock vote on June 23 to leave the European Union must be the man who called that vote in the first place: David Cameron. Himself a Bremainer—the opposite of a Brexiter—Cameron caved to pressure from the U.K. Independence Party and the right wing of his own party to promise a referendum on the U.K.'s membership in the European Union. Cameron previously had proved a consistently sure-footed political operator; on this occasion he miscalculated catastrophically.For Cameron, the Brexit vote abruptly ended a glittering career. Within a month, he resigned as prime minister. Within three, he had quit the House of Commons completely. The populism of Brexit also heralded the seismic election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Trump himself called his own win "Brexit plus-plus-plus."For business travel, the immediate influence was an overnight collapse in the value of sterling, making the U.K. 20 percent cheaper for inbound visitors but conversely making accommodation and other on-trip expenses 20 percent pricier for Brits heading abroad. No one knows the longer-term consequences. Cameron's administration prepared no plans for what departure would look like. Most crucially, there was no determination of the extent to which the United Kingdom will abandon the EU's four freedoms of a single market: capital, goods, service provision and—one that's key for travel—movement.Brexit could hit border controls, value-added tax recovery, airline deregulation, Open Skies, air passenger compensation, mobile roaming charges and data protection. Most important, Brexit will stunt growth—by 2.4 percent over the next five years, according to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond. And a weaker economy means less business travel.