After a controversial worldwide debate and a final referendum, Britain voted to leave the European Union, with a narrow margin of 3.8, the vote nearly split down the middle. The response from world leaders were mixed. Pope Francis called for taking "responsibility for the well-being and coexistence of the entire European community." German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the vote "a watershed moment for Europe.” President Obama, who personally campaigned against the vote, known as ‘Brexit,’ said that he respects the decision. GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump called the Brexit “great” and “fantastic,” adding on Twitter that “They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!"

Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, who called for the referendum and urged the country to vote Remain, announced his resignation Friday, possibly paving the way for favorite and former London Mayor Boris Johnson, who said the UK had  a "glorious opportunity” to “find our voice in the world again”.

Many questions remain after Friday’s shocking turn of events. The most glaring may be: What happens next?

Charles Sennott is a WGBH News Analyst and founder of the GroundTruth Project. He joined Boston Public Radio Friday to answer —and present yet more— questions in a post-Brexit world. “It certainly is a wakeup call that this kind of global expression of dissatisfaction with the status quo,” Sennott said. “There’s something in the air here, globally, that I think could catch all of us by surprise.”

According to Sennott, it is difficult to predict how countries around the world will be affected by the Brexit, or if the European Union will be able to recover. The economic downturn, however, presents a clearer picture of the future. “We’re hearing Trump already crowing about how fantastic this is… the markets don’t seem to think that,” Sennott said. “They’re reacting very much against it. [There’s a] lot of worry in the air, a lot of uncertainty, and the question I guess is, will this roll forward now through Europe? Will we see other countries, the Netherlands, or France also have a referendum on whether or not to pull out? Is it the unraveling of this experiment that’s known as the European Union.”

The referendum saw a 72.2 percent voter turnout of UK voters, in a vote that Sennott said will inevitably affect the rest of the world. “This is going to hurt trade in Europe,” Sennott said. “This is going to hurt companies—American companies that are based in London, who do a lot of work with the European Union, and have a lot of trade agreements with the European Union, how that plays out and impacts the global economy and the U.S. economy. It’s uncertain, for sure, but the early signs, the market, the way they’re reeling right now, I think is a real vote of the business community that they don’t like this.”

The more immediate question —the future of politics in England— will be left to another election, in which Sennott predicts former London Mayor Boris Johnson taking Prime Minister David Cameron’s spot, which won’t bode well for the economy. “I don’t know if [Johnson] is as unnerving as he is annoying,” Sennott said. He’s like this foppish kind of British character who likes to be unpredictable and have different kinds of points of view… people are going to see their economy go down.”

Within the existing United Kingdom, Scotland and Northern Ireland have both reconsidered their ties to the UK, deliberating another referendum for independence. “In the UK, you have Scotland, you have Northern Ireland, and you have Wales,” Sennott said. “You have those three places that are much more tied to the European Union, they’re much more in favor of staying in.. and will that end up shrinking the United Kingdom down to England, essentially? That’s a big question that’s going to be complex and that will involve a lot of politicking.”

Referring to the European Union as an “experiment,” Sennott described the UK exiting the EU as “dramatic history unfolding” —harkening back to the origins of Britain’s relationship with Europe. “When you’re traveling in the United Kingdom, if you go to the Cliffs of Dover, [there is a] medieval fortress on the cliffs of Dover that looks out, eyeing Europe, which is really built to eye an enemy and try to protect Europe from coming to the shores of the UK,” he said. “That sense of fortress-Britannia, of trying to protect itself, that’s a big part of the United Kingdom’s history.”

The European Union, as an institution, is a modern idea, Sennott said. “Out of the ashes of WWII, Europe tried to come together and integrate itself, it did an amazing job at doing that.”

As other countries adopted the euro as currency throughout the end of the 20th century, England stuck with the pound. “This whole notion is a modern experiment,” Sennott said. “I think the thing to think about today is the big question is, is that experiment, is that history taking a turn? I think it is.”

Charles Sennott is a WGBH News contributor and co-founder of the GroundTruth Project. To hear more from his interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio link above.