Britain has voted to leave the European Union, results from Friday’s landmark referendum showed, an outcome that sets the country on an uncertain path and deals the largest setback to European efforts to forge greater unity since World War Two.
World financial markets dived as nearly complete results showed a 51.7/48.3 percent split for leaving. Sterling suffered its biggest one-day fall of more than 9 percent against the dollar, hitting its lowest level in three decades on market fears the decision will hit investment in the world’s 5th largest economy.
The vote will initiate at least two years of messy divorce proceedings with the EU, raise questions over London’s role as a global financial capital and put huge pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to resign, though he pledged during the campaign to stay on whatever the result.
Far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage declared victory much earlier, saying: “Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom June 23 will be our Independence Day.”
“I now dare to dream that the dawn is coming up on an independent United Kingdom,” Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party said. He called on Prime Minister David Cameron to resign immediately in the event of a Leave vote.
Cameron had urged Britons to vote Remain, warning that the alternative was a leap in the dark that would hurt trade and investment, bring about a self-inflicted recession, undermine the pound and push up shopping bills and the cost of holidays.