Britain has voted to leave the European Union, with the Leave campaign securing around 51.8 per cent of the vote.
David Cameron, who will address the nation shortly, is now facing calls to resign as Prime Minister.
While England voted overwhelmingly for Brexit, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed Remain. Statements are expected to be made by Sinn Fein and the SNP later today calling for a breakaway from the Union. London backed Remain but the turnout was lower than expected because of bad weather.
The pound crashed to the lowest level since 1985 as sterling fell below $1.35. Complacency about a Brexit outcome will come clear this morning, as out of hours trading suggests that the FTSE 100 will drop by 8.8pc, or by some 560 points. The fall would be the third worst in history if stocks ended the day down as sharply.
David Cameron’s voice broke as he finished his speech, watched on by his wife Samantha.
So that’s it: Mr Cameron has resigned as Prime Minister.
The Cabinet will meet on Monday and a timetable for him stepping down will be drawn up.
In a speech outside 10 Downing Street he said:
“The British people have voted to leave the EU and their will must be respected.
The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.
There can be no doubt about the result.
Across the world people have been watching the choice that Britain has made.
This will require strong, determined and committed leadership.
I am very proud to have been Prime Minister of this country for six years.
I have held nothing back.
The british people have made a very clear decision to
I think the country requires fresh leadership.
I do not think I can be the captain to take the country to its next destination.
In my view I think we should have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative conference in October.”
Mr Hammond said: “I don’t want to overstate the case but I do think Britain has been a very positive influence in Europe on the security agenda. I do worry with Britain now having a hugely diminished voice we will see that resolve from our European partners waning.”
On Vladimir Putin he said: “I suspect he will be feeling a little less pressure this morning and a little more upbeat.”
Mr Hammond warned that Britain’s voice would now be diminished within the EU as we prepare for our exit.
White House interim statement on Brexit
” The President has been briefed on the incoming returns in the UK referendum, and he will continue to be updated by his team as the situation warrants. We expect the President will have an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Cameron over the course of the next day, and we will release further comment as soon as appropriate.”
Farage: The sun has risen on an independent UK
Ukip leader Nigel Farage calls for a Brexit government immediately to start negotiating UK’s new place in the world.