Most UK Voters Support Brexit Referendum

The UK referendum on whether to stay or leave the European Union resulted in a win for the “leave” campaign, prompting Prime Minister to announce Friday morning plans to resign Complete results reported by The Guardian at 7:15 a.m. local time showed the Brexit decision won by more than 1 million votes

The UK referendum on whether to stay or leave the European Union resulted in a win for the “leave” campaign, prompting Prime Minister to announce Friday morning plans to resign

Complete results reported by The Guardian at 7:15 a.m. local time showed the Brexit decision won by more than 1 million votes with 51.89 percent versus 48.11 percent for the campaign to stay in the EU. A total of 119 local areas voted “remain,” while a majority of 263 areas voted “leave.”

“I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to the next destination,” said Cameron in a press conference on Friday morning announcing plans to resign as prime minister.

Just hours after the Brexit results, a parliamentary petition calling for a second referendum has been set up by those among the 48 percent who voted to stay in the EU.

The petition had reportedly crashed the governmental site before it passed the 100,000 signatures threshold within hours, and must now be discussed in the British parliament.

Meanwhile, local media reported that Londoners on social media were calling for the city to break away from Britain after the rest of England backed Brexit.

The British capital was only region across England and Wales to vote in favour of remaining in the EU yesterday. Also a petition calling for London mayor Sadiq Khan to declare the city independent from the U.K. was also set up online which had more than 58,000 backers by Friday afternoon.

James O’Malley, who set up the petition, wrote: “London is an international city, and we want to remain at the heart of Europe.

Let’s face it – the rest of the country disagrees. So rather than passive aggressively vote against each other at every election, let’s make the divorce official and move in with our friends on the continent.”

Social media users were expressing similar sentiment using #LondonIndependence on Twitter. “London, of course, voted overwhelmingly to stay. So, the campaign starts here. Independence for London within the EU!” Twitter user Richard Crowest Wrote Friday.

As results became clear in the early hours of Friday morning, global traders scrambled and world financial markets took a dive while oil prices slumped by more than 6 percent. Sterling dipped to its lowest point since 1985 and the London stock market is set to fall at the open.

Meanwhile, Conservative lawmakers showed little interest in giving Prime Minister David Cameron the boot, favoring instead that he stay in power to prepare and implement the decision to back out of the EU, a “leave” camp spokesperson told Reuters.

The “leave” campaign had amassed just over 50 percent of votes counted at around 3 a.m. local time, according to the BBC.

The “leave” vote is higher than what many people predicted, as the “remain” camp had taken a lead in the final referendum polls ahead of the vote.

Bookmakers adjusted their odds to reflect an even chance of a Brexit as the “leave” camp grabbed an early lead, before results from Glasgow and parts of London helped the “remain” side to inch ahead. According to results reported by The Guardian, London and Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU, while a majority of England voted to leave.

Earlier when counting began, Nigel Farage, the right-wing head of the U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, and one of the figureheads of the “leave” camp, told Sky News that he did not expect to win.

“It’s been an extraordinary referendum campaign, turnout looks to be exceptionally high and looks like ‘remain’ will edge it,” Farage told Sky News. A spokesman for Farage declined to elaborate.

Farage also said that the extension of the voter registration deadline “could have won it for ‘remain.'”

According to polling firm YouGov the “remain” camp was ahead before polls opened. The online poll found 52 percent of respondents said they voted to remain in the EU and 48 percent voted to leave, Joe Twyman, YouGov’s head of political and social research for Europe, told Sky News.

Despite the many who struggled to make it to polling stations due to harsh weather conditions and rain, some districts were reported to have up to 80 percent voter turnout rates. The BBC estimated an overall turnout of 70.7 percent, while The Guardian reported 72.07 percent estimated turnout.

Labor party and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was campaigning for a “remain” vote, said in the days leading up to the referendum that the Brexit debate has been “poisonous.”

Voting is not compulsory in the U.K. and an estimated 4 million voters were still undecided in the final days before the vote.

Voting opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 10 p.m. local time. London and parts of southeast England were hit by torrential rain, causing floods and widespread transport chaos.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that leaving the EU would be a “leap in the dark.” The referendum was one of Cameron’s promise during his 2015 election campaign. Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also supports the U.K. remaining in the EU.

Supporters of the “remain” camp say that the U.K. will be economically and politically stronger in the EU, making it easier to sell to the EU market as well as consolidate the U.K.’s world reputation.

The “leave” campaign says that outside of the EU, the U.K. will have more control of its economy, workforce and borders. The “leave” camp has been criticized by some for its xenophobic, anti-immigration agenda. Many right-wing campaigners have been fear-mongering amid the European migrant crisis, blaming immigrants for many of the U.K.’s economic problems and saying that they take advantage of health, social services and jobs.

Campaigning for Brexit was suspended after the murder of MP and refugee advocate Joe Cox, who was killed by a far-right extremist with apparent connections to right-wing political party Britain First.

A key supporter of the “leave” campaign is Nigel Farage, from the far-right U.K. Independence Party, who released a poster showing a line of immigrants coming to the U.K., which was very similar to Nazi propaganda posters.

Former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said it was “highly irresponsible” for the U.K. to hold a referendum at all.

The EU would be stripped of its second-biggest economy and one of its two main military powers, and could face calls for similar votes by anti-EU politicians in other countries.

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