The UK has voted to leave the European Union
after 43 years in a historic referendum.
Leave won by 52% to 48% with England and Wales
voting strongly for Brexit, while London, Scotland
and Northern Ireland backed staying in the EU.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK's
"independence day" but the Remain camp called it
The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar
since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results.
The referendum turnout was 71.8% - with more
than 30 million people voting - the highest turnout
at a UK election since 1992.
Wales and the majority of England outside London
voted in large numbers for Brexit.
Labour's Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said
the Bank of England may have to intervene to
shore up the pound, which lost 3% within
moments of the first result showing a strong result
for Leave in Sunderland and fell as much as 6.5%
against the euro.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage - who has campaigned
for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU -
told cheering supporters "this will be a victory for
ordinary people, for decent people".
Mr Farage - who predicted a Remain win at the
start of the night after polls suggested that would
happen - said Thursday 23 June would "go down
in history as our independence day".
He called on Prime Minister David Cameron, who
called the referendum but campaigned
passionately for a Remain vote, to quit
A Labour source said: "If we vote to leave,
Cameron should seriously consider his position."
But pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris
Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to
Mr Cameron urging him to stay on whatever the
Labour former Europe Minister Keith Vaz told the
BBC the British people had voted with their
"emotions" and rejected the advice of experts who
had warned about the economic impact of leaving
He said the EU should call an emergency summit
to deal with the aftermath of the vote, which he
described as "catastrophic for our country, for the
rest of Europe and for the rest of the world".
Germany's foreign minister Frank Walter
Steinmeier describes the referendum result as as
"a sad day for Europe and Great Britain".
But Leave supporting Tory MP Liam Fox said
voters had shown great "courage" by deciding to
"change the course of history" for the UK and, he
hoped, the rest of Europe.
And he called for a "period of calm, a period of
reflection, to let it all sink in and to work through
what the actual technicalities are," insisting that Mr
Cameron must stay on as PM.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said
that the EU vote "makes clear that the people of
Scotland see their future as part of the European
Union" after all 32 local authority areas returned
majorities for Remain.
Analysis by Prof John Curtice
London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60%
However, no other region of England has voted in
favour of remaining.
The referendum has underlined the social and
cultural gap between London and provincial
Remain's defeat seems to have been primarily the
product of the decisions made by voters living
north of the M4.
Throughout the Midlands and the North of England
the level of support for Remain was well below
what was required for it to win at least 50% of the
vote across the UK as a whole.
Britain would be the first country to leave the EU
since its formation - but a leave vote will not
immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member
of the 28-nation bloc.
That process could take a minimum of two years,
with Leave campaigners suggesting during the
referendum campaign that it should not be
completed until 2020 - the date of the next
scheduled general election.
The prime minister will have to decide when to
trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would
give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal.
Once Article 50 has been triggered a country can
not rejoin without the consent of all member
Mr Cameron has previously said he would trigger
Article 50 as soon as possible after a leave vote
but Boris Johnson and Michael Gove who led the
campaign to get Britain out of the EU have said he
should not rush into it.
But they also said they want to make immediate
changes before the UK actually leaves the EU, such
as curbing the power of EU judges and limiting the
free movement of workers, potentially in breach the
UK's treaty obligations.
The government will also have to negotiate its
future trading relationship with the EU and fix trade
deals with non-EU countries.
In Whitehall and Westminster, there will now begin
the massive task of unstitching the UK from more
than 40 years of EU law, deciding which directives
and regulations to keep, amend or ditch.
The Leave campaign argued during a bitter four-
month referendum campaign that the only way
Britain could "take back control" of its own affairs
would be to leave the EU.
Leave dismissed warnings from economists and
international bodies about the economic impact of
Brexit as "scaremongering" by a self-serving elite