At 4:39 am this morning the BBC called the result for Leave with a projected vote share of 52 percent against 48 percent for Remain. At the final result, 33,577,342 votes had been cast, with 16,141,241 in favour of Remain and 17,410,742 in favour of Leave.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation this morning in the wake of the shock vote for Brexit that changes our country’s political landscape. Appearing close to tears, Cameron finished his resignation speech by saying: “I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed. ”
A challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s authority (leader of the opposition party) was also launched today, raising the prospect of both Labour and Conservative leadership contests and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a second independence plebiscite north of the border is now “highly likely”, after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the European Union.
The pound plunged to a 31-year low as global markets reacted to the prospect of years of uncertainty, including over the future of the UK itself. Speaking at The Bank of England Mark Carney said it would “take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability”, adding that it had made contingency plans in an attempt to avert panic.
Giving his own press conference, Boris Johnson, the leading Leave campaigner (who no doubt will soon announce his intention to stand for Prime Minister) delivered his first post-Brexit speech which was notably statesmanlike and much more serious in tone than the buffoon like character he adopted as Mayor of London. In his speech, Boris declared that despite the dramatic polarisation we saw play out last night across the country, that the UK was "no less united...nor indeed any less European". He made a direct appeal to younger voters who have been outspoken in their criticism/disappointment asking them to not to become isolated/ disillusioned by politics. In the coming days we will see numerous candidates make their leadership bid.
The European Parliament is due to hold an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss the referendum result. On Twitter, EU Parliament president Martin Schulz called for a "speedy and clear exit negotiation". German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed "great regret" at the British decision, saying: "This is a blow to Europe and to the European unification process". Mrs Merkel said she would meet European Council President Donald Tusk, French President Francois Hollande and Italian PM Matteo Renzi in Berlin on Monday.