Britons have voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48% in a national referendum. The pound has plummeted and the news has triggered panic on the markets.
The ‘Leave’ campaign garnered 1,269,501 more votes than those who wanted to see Britain remain part of the European Union.
LIVE UPDATES: ‘Leave’ wins: UK votes in historic Brexit referendum
Stock markets from Tokyo to London collapsed on Friday as the UK’s major media networks projected a victory for the “Leave” campaign.
The British pound plunged 10 percent, the most since 1985, the euro fell the furthest since its introduction in 1999, while the Japanese yen had its biggest surge since 1998. Oil fell to $47 per barrel. Gold soared along with US Treasuries as panicked investors sought a safe haven from the markets.
“Investors are just trying to get out. You sell first and ask questions later. There was a massive miscalculation of risk and now you’re seeing all that unwind,” head of investment strategy at Perpetual Ltd. in Sydney, Matthew Sherwood, told Bloomberg.
The outcome of the Brexit referendum has caused reaction at home and worldwide. Sinn Fein has said: “The British [have] forfeited any mandate to represent [the] economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland.”
The leader of the French National Front Marine Le Pen hailed the success and called for a similar EU referendum in France.
Victoire de la liberté ! Comme je le demande depuis des années, il faut maintenant le même référendum en France et dans les pays de l’UE MLP
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) June 24, 2016
“Like a lot of French people, I’m very happy that the British people held on and made the right choice. What we thought was impossible yesterday has now become possible,” she said as cited by the Guardian.
Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilder also wants the Netherlands to decide on whether to stay in the EU.
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 24, 2016
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, a fierce proponent of staying in the EU, could have faced the possibility of leaving office after the Brexit. However, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has made it clear that Cameron is set to stay and “carry out [the] British people’s instructions,” Reuters cited Hammond as saying, adding that “what country [needs] now is continuity and stability.”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been among the first in Europe to react, calling the Brexit result “truly sobering and sad.”