London, June 24 (IANS) Britain has voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union (EU) after 43 years in a historic referendum, a BBC forecast revealed on Friday with less than two hours left for the actual result.
London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote has been undermined by poor results in the north of England, the forecast revealed at around 5.10 a.m. (9.40 a.m. Indian Standard Time).
Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit — Britan’s exit — in large numbers.
The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results.
Referendum turnout was higher than at last year’s general election.
Labour’s Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Bank of England may have to intervene to shore up the pound, which lost 3 per cent within moments of the first result showing a strong result for Leave in Sunderland and fell as much as 6.5 per cent against the euro.
UK Independent Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – told supporters “this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people”.
Farage – who predicted a Remain win at the start of the night after polls suggested that would happen – said on Thursday, that June 23 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 “immediately”.
A Labour source said: “If we vote to leave, Cameron should seriously consider his position.”
But pro-Leave Conservatives including former London Mayor Boris Johnson and former Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove have signed a letter to Cameron urging him to stay on whatever the result.