International desk – About 52 per cent electors cast their votes in favour of leaving the European Union in the historic Britain’s referendum to exist the 28-nation European block, media reports said Friday.
Forty-eight percent voted for Britain to be within the block which came into being 43 year ago, according to a BBC report.
London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote has been undermined by poor results in the north of England.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed the result as the UK’s “independence day”.
The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results.
The referendum turnout was 71.8 per cent – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK election since 1992.
Wales and the majority of England outside London voted in large numbers for the Brexit.
Labour’s Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Bank of England may have to intervene to shore up the pound, which lost 3 per cent within moments of the first result showing a strong result for Leave in Sunderland and fell as much as 6.5 per cent against the euro.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – told cheering supporters “this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people”.
Farage – who predicted a Remain win at the start of the night after polls suggested that would happen – said Thursday 23 June would “go down in history as our independence day”.
He called on Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum but campaigned passionately for a Remain vote, to quit “immediately”.
A Labour source said: “If we vote to leave, Cameron should seriously consider his position.”
But pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Cameron urging him to stay on whatever the result.
Labour former Europe Minister Keith Vaz said the British people had voted with their “emotions” and rejected the advice of experts who had warned about the economic impact of leaving the EU.
He said the EU should call an emergency summit to deal with the aftermath of the vote, which he described as “catastrophic for our country, for the rest of Europe and for the rest of the world”.
Germany’s foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier describes the referendum result as “a sad day for Europe and Great Britain”.
But Leave supporting Tory MP Liam Fox said voters had shown great “courage” by deciding to “change the course of history” for the UK and, he hoped, the rest of Europe.
And he called for a “period of calm, a period of reflection, to let it all sink in and to work through what the actual technicalities are,” insisting that Mr Cameron must stay on as PM.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the EU vote “makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union” after all 32 local authority areas returned majorities for Remain.
London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60 per cent to 40 per cent.
However, no other region of England has voted in favour of remaining.
The Referendum has underlined the social and cultural gap between London and provincial England.
Remain’s defeat seems to have been primarily the product of the decisions made by voters living north of the M4.
Throughout the Midlands and the North of England the level of support for Remain was well below what was required for it to win at least 50 per cent of the vote across the UK as a whole, reported BBC.