The UK referendum has voted to leave the European Union after 43 years. In a historic poll, which saw 30 million people voting (71.8 percent) – the highest turnaround at a UK-wide vote since 1992, the UK voters opted for leaving the EU. The Brexit side won by 52 percent to 48 percent, with England and Wales voting strongly against the EU and London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voting for staying in. The leader of the “Leave campaign”, Nigel Farage, hailed the day as the UK’s Independence Day and “a victory for ordinary people, for decent people”. In contrast, the “Remain” side called the day a “catastrophe”.
The market response to the Brexit vote has seen the pound fall to its 1985 low and Labor’s Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Bank of England might have to intervene to boost the pound, which lost as much as 6.5 percent against the euro. The bank has already promised £250 billion to calm the markets. Following the failure of his pro-Remain campaign, British Prime Minister said he would resign by October. Scotland’s leaders said they would give their thoughts on the referendum soon. Moreover, Sinn Féin, the Irish republican political party dedicated to the reunification of Ireland and an end to British jurisdiction in the north of Ireland, have already called for poll on united Ireland following the Brexit.
In the meantime, Donald Tusk, President of the European Union, reassured that the remaining EU countries were determined to keep the block’s unity as 27, reminding that “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. “I want to reassure everyone that we are prepared also for this negative scenario,” he said. He reiterated that although there was no way to predict all the political consequences of the vote, this is not a moment for “hysterical reactions”.