It’s official. Britain has voted to leave the EU after 43 years.
The result of the “Brexit” referendum takes the 28 member EU down to 27.
British broadcasters called the result around 8:45 pm Pacific time, with the Leave side crossing the “magic number” of 16,784,093 votes needed to make it official around 10pm. In the end, Leave finished with about 52%, to “Remain’s” 48%.
With nearly all the votes counted, the “leave” side led by more than 1-million votes.
Not all of the U-K voted to leave though – with Northern Ireland and Scotland both voting to stay. Wales and England voted to leave.
Earlier this evening, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage predicted victory, likening the vote to the rebirth of the nation.
“Lets get rid of the flag, the anthem, Brussels and all that has gone wrong. Let June the 23rd go down in history as our independence day.”
The historic results could have massive ramifications, both for the EU and the globe.
It will almost certainly raise questions about the future of other EU countries that have flirted with quitting the union, such as Greece – and the cohesion of the union itself.
British Prime Minister resigns
Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation shortly after, saying he would stay on for the short term, until a new Prime Minister was selected before the Conservative Convention this October.
The move is causing havoc on world markets.
In the UK, the Pound is down about 9%, while the Euro has dipped 1.5%. Gold has surged by 5%.
Japan’s Nikkei is down nearly 8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index more than 4.5%, and China’s Shanghai composite about 1.2%
CNBC reports futures markets indicate the Dow will open down 650 points.
Effect on Canada?
CKNW business analyst Robert Levy says the international storm clouds could mean rough seas for Canada’s economy.
“Because there’s going to be problems for the global economy, and if there’s problems for the global economy, that’s how its going to effect Canada.”
He says the rejection of the EU could have a big effect on free trade world wide, which Canada has been actively involved in.
And of course, the perennial question – how will it effect housing here in Vancouver?
“We saw it in 2008 when the global economy was in trouble investors would park money in Canada for safety, so whether it was going into Canadian government bonds [or] Canadian housing as a safe haven, and that’s an area that continues to attract capital. Those are both things that fuel a housing market, not that our housing market requires any more fuel.”
Earlier today Finance Minister Bill Morneau said a strong UK and strong EU would be best for Canada