UK votes to leave the European Union, sending pound to 31 years low

united kingdom exit from europe relative image

LONDON: The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum, according to latest BBC results.

Referendum turnout was higher than at last year’s general election.

Sterling fell to a 31 year-long lows against the US dollar as a Brexit grew likelier, having rallied initially as the last polls suggested a narrow lead for remain and kick-starting what is expected to be a highly volatile day on the financial markets.

Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip, who has long campaigned for Britain to leave the EU and whose political career was hanging in the balance, said that “dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom” as the likely result grew clearer. Farage also said Prime Minister David Cameron, who campaigned for Remain, should “resign immediately”.

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 economic impacting of leaving the EU.

He added: “It will be catastrophic for our country, for the rest of Europe and for the rest of the world.”

There is expected to be a volatile day on the markets in the aftermath of the decision as finance professionals and traders assess the implications.