In a historic decision, Britain has voted to leave the European Union in a referendum that stoked passions on issues of immigration and sovereignty.
With all counties reporting results Friday morning, the “leave” cause won 51.89 percent of the vote. The news prompted a negative reaction in Asian markets and the British Pound tumbled to a three-decade low.
Turnout was high, at more than 70 percent, despite torrential rainstorms on referendum day, reflecting the strong feelings that the debate evoked in a nation whose immigration rate has doubled in the past 16 years.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the EU, said that Britain needed fresh leadership and that he would step down within 3 months.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is considered a front-runner to take his place.
Meanwhile, the UK’S vote to leave the EU has sparked demands from far-right parties for referendums in other member states.
France’s national front leader marine le pen said the French must now also have the right to choose.
Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders said the Netherlands deserved a “nexit” vote while Italy’s northern league said: “now it’s our turn”.
European Parliament President, Martin Schulz denied Brexit would trigger a domino effect, saying the EU was “well-prepared”.
But Beatrix Von Storch, of Germany’s Eurosceptic AFD party, praising “independence day for Great Britain”, demanded that Mr Schulz and European Commission Head Jean-Claude Juncker resign.