US & World

BBC projects United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union

Observers and journalists gather early Friday at Manchester's Town Hall for the announcement of the results in the European Union (EU) referendum.
Observers and journalists gather early Friday at Manchester's Town Hall for the announcement of the results in the European Union (EU) referendum.
Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

British voters have come down in favor of getting out of the European Union, the BBC and other British news sources projected early Friday, but votes still are being counted and the Remain campaign has not yet conceded.

The results would end the United Kingdom's 43-year membership, the BBC reported:

"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.

"Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit in large numbers."

The BBC reported that with more than 90 percent of the vote counted, Leave led Remain by more than one million votes, or 52 percent to 48 percent.

Markets worldwide plunged as the vote counts trickled in Thursday night and Friday morning. The British pound fell to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since 1985. Gold and the Japanese yen went up.

Exit polls showed sharp divides in the voting, with rural Welsh and English voters strongly pushing for a departure from the EU, while younger voters were among the strongest advocates for staying.

Northern Ireland also had a strong Remain vote, which led Sinn Fein chairman Declan Kearney to call for a vote on unification with Ireland, an EU member country. Sinn Fein is the largest Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland.

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier tweeted the vote was "a sad day for Europe and Britain."

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