Britain votes to LEAVE the EU

Britons turned out in record numbers to cast their votes in Thursday's referendum, and the result, announced early on Friday morning, was that just under 52% opted for the so-called "Brexit", bringing to end over 40 years of Britains's membership of the European Union and common market.

Europe Map

But for all the scaremongering and predictions in the run up to the vote, the truth is that nobody yet knows how the result will affect Britain, Europe, or the rest of the world in the long term. Predictably, markets reacted to the uncertainty in a typically knee-jerk fashion, with Sterling being heavily traded and losing ground against other major currencies. Stock markets around the world dived early on, whilst news sites have been busily updating throughout the day on the potential political and economic consequences: One early casualty was Prime Minister David Cameron, who had campaigned staunchly for the "remain" argument, and subsequently announced he would resign by October. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also faced calls for his resignation and a vote of no confidence hours later.

A surge in referendums across Europe is also likely, as several other disenfranchised EU nations jealously eye the UK result, but conversely Scotland and Northern Ireland have speculated about leaving the UK and re-joining the EU as independent nations.

The triggering of Article 50, which commences the actual leaving process, has not yet happened and experts agree (on one thing, at least) that it will take years to properly "divorce" from Europe, nevertheless today marks a momentous moment in British history that will be felt for decades to come. Whether for better or worse, time will tell.

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