UK votes to leave EU and Prime Minister Cameron resigns.

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union after forty years of membership and in response, Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned from office. After a split vote of 52% to 48% in favour, the real work begins now to reconcile voters after what was a relatively close-run decision. Whilst broadly Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain, Wales and England chose to leave and the sheer weight of numbers resulted in the overall leave decision.

Politicians who will now need to quickly resume party ranks after the bad-tempered campaign closed, need to turn their attention to bringing the country together as it enters an unprecedented period of uncertainty.

In a surprise result, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union after a recent-years record voter turnout of 72% leading Prime Minister David Cameron to resign. While victorious Leave campaigners celebrate, they now have to take heed of the 48% of people who voted to remain and ensure the celebrations include time for reconciliation and circumspection ahead of the leaving process.

Of particular note and concern is the effect the decision has already had on currency markets overnight, as Sterling dropped to its lowest level against the US Dollar for thirty years. Currently trading at $1.36675 against an earlier low of $1.3535, Sterling has had a monumental roller-coaster ride. As polling closed at 10.00pm last night, an anticipation of a Remain victory had driven the Pound to $1.5022 but this was proven to be short-lived as results began to come in. The Euro, spooked by concerns of damage to the Eurozone by Brexit dropped to $1.0997 recovering to just over $1.10 this morning but had gained around 8% on trading against Sterling with one Euro worth just over 80.9p.

All eyes are now on equity markets – overnight Asian bourses fell with Japan’s Nikkei losing 8% and FTSE100 Futures losing 7%. The FTSE 100 itself has shed 8.3% with the CAC and DAX losing 8.7% and 10% respectively. Gold being a traditional safe haven in times of turmoil, jumped 5.6% to $1,331.9 an ounce. Credit rating agency Standard and Poors reiterated its earlier statement that a Leave vote would put the UK’s AAA rating in doubt.

Leave campaigners have claimed that a temporary upheaval in financial markets was a price worth paying but time will tell if the already-strained nerves of post-recession Britain will hold with more expensive European travel just one of the immediate costs of this historic decision. Other more serious repercussions like more expensive government borrowing and the threat of an emergency budget will loom large in the days to come.

Managing a change of leadership and a nation still smarting from several years of austerity following the 2008 financial crisis, will be a tall order for any government, potentially steering through what may be a DIY-recession.

The fizz may quickly go out of the Leave camps celebrations as they digest the effects of this momentous decision and their supporters have to work alongside party co-workers who were diametrically opposed to leaving the Union. What is clear is that David Cameron, who had worked to fashion an EU that the British people could live with, will not be the Prime Minister that will take the UK out of the bloc it has been living uncomfortably alongside for a generation.

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