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Britain decides to leave European Union

24 June 2016 9:27

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The United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union (EU) after more than 51 percent of Britons voted to leave the 28-member bloc in a historic referendum on June 23.

With more than 90 percent of Thursday votes counted, some 51.90 percent of voters opted to leave the EU, while roughly 48.10 percent of people voted to stay in the union.

Just over 17.4 million Britons said the country should leave the bloc, as 16.14 million others favored remaining in the EU.

London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit in large numbers.

Supporters of the ‘Leave’ vote are already jubilant as results show a lead for them.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage was among the first to assume a celebratory tone, saying the country was taking its independence back.

People in favor of remaining in the bloc argued that leaving it would risk the UK’s prosperity, diminish its influence over world affairs, and result in trade barriers between the UK and the EU.

On the spectrum, Britons who favor withdrawal believe that outside the bloc, the UK would be better off in conducting its own trade negotiations, better able to control immigration and free from what they believe to be excessive EU regulations and bureaucracy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to make an announcement outside his official residence in London soon as his future as leader looks uncertain.

The decision has caused the UK money to collapse. The pound fell to its lowest level against the US dollar since 1985 as the global markets reacted to the results.

Membership of the European Union has been a controversial issue in the UK since the country joined the then European Economic Community in 1973.

The UK vote has already drawn varying reactions from leaders across the world, with many EU officials expressing concern over Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, while others have warned of the repercussions of remaining in the union.

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