Brexit crisis: Britain splits from the European Union, check out the blow-by-blow account

By: | Updated: June 24, 2016 1:13 PM

The British people have created history and voted to leave the European Union despite all forecasts of doom that most politicians and experts predicted in their analysis.

brexit, brexit news, brexit latest news, brexit latest updates, brexit polls, brexit polls 2016, brexit EU, brexit EU news, Brexit EU latest newsSupporters of the Stronger In campaign react after hearing results in the EU referendum at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Friday, June 24, 2016. On Thursday, Britain voted in a national referendum on whether to stay inside the EU. On Thursday, Britain voted in a national referendum on whether to stay inside the EU. (Associated Press)

The British people have created history and voted to leave the European Union despite all forecasts of doom that most politicians and experts predicted in their analysis. After Brexit became a reality, FM Arun Jaitley reacted by saying, “Aim will be to smoothen volatility and minimise Brexit impact on the economy in the short-term. Strongly committed to macroeconomic framework with rock solid commitment to fiscal discipline. Immediate, medium-term firewalls solid in form of healthy forex reserves; Govt, RBI prepared to deal with any short-term volatility. Aim will be to smoothen volatility and minimise Brexit impact on the economy in the short-term.” Check out below the remarks by top leaders as they happened as results started trickling in (all times local (GMT):

6:40 a.m.

The head of the biggest political bloc in the European Parliament says the UK vote to leave the EU is damaging but that the decision is for Britain, not the European Union.

European People’s Party chairman Manfred Weber says Friday that the vote “causes major damage to both sides, but in first line to the U.K.”

Weber added that “this was a British vote, not a European vote. People in the other states don’t want to leave Europe.”

Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent on Thursday to leave the EU to take greater control of the country’s economy and borders.

6:30 a.m.

One of the leaders of the victorious `leave’ campaign has reassured the European Union that Britain will continue to be a good neighbor after its unprecedented vote to leave the bloc.

Labour lawmaker Gisela Stuart, who was born in Germany, spoke in German to say that “Britain is an open society, it is a welcoming society and we will continue to be cooperating with European countries on an international level.”

As the British pound and global stock markets fell at the shocking result, Stuart says “it is incumbent on all of us to be very calm, remember that our responsibility is to the future of the United Kingdom, and work together to start a process.”

She says “in the long run, I think that both Europe and the United Kingdom will emerge stronger as a result.”

6:25 a.m.

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders is calling for a plebiscite in the Netherlands about leaving the European Union after Britons voted to ditch the 28-nation bloc.

Wilders tweeted: “Hurrah for the British! Now it is our turn. Time for a Dutch referendum!”

EU officials have long suspected that a British decision to leave the bloc would be quickly claimed as a victory among the far left and right in European politics.

The British vote is considered a political earthquake that will shatter the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II.

6:15 a.m.

As dawn broke over London, those who wanted Britain to stay in the European Union woke up to grim news: voters had chosen instead to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Veteran Labour lawmaker Keith Vaz says “this is a crushing, crushing decision. This is a terrible day for Europe.”

Green lawmaker Caroline Lucas said she was devastated by the news, blaming “alienation, anger and frustration” for the results of Thursday’s vote.

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, a prominent “remain” campaigner, says “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted magic more” in a Twitter message.

6:05 a.m.

Britain has voted to leave the European Union to take greater control of its economy and its borders, shattering the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II.

The decision launches what will be years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with the EU, which will shrink to a 27-nation bloc.

Results released early Friday show the “leave” side prevailed 52 percent to 48 percent in Thursday’s vote as tallied by British broadcasters. The vote had a turnout of 72 percent.

The U.K. is the first major country to decide to leave the bloc, which evolved from the ashes of the war as the region’s leaders sought to build links and avert future hostility.

Financial authorities around the world have warned that a British exit will reverberate through a delicate global economy.

5:50 a.m.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon says her country cast an “unequivocal” vote to remain in the European Union _ a result that raises the specter of a new referendum on Scottish independence.

Sturgeon said “the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.”

All 32 voting areas in Scotland voted to stay in the EU, but they were outnumbered by a strong English “leave” vote.

Scotland rejected independence from the UK in its own 2014 referendum, but Friday’s result gives new momentum to the cause.

5:40 a.m.

Britain’s vote to leave the 28-nation European Union is likely to cost Prime Minister David Cameron his job.

The leader of the ruling Conservative Party had staked his reputation on keeping Britain in the EU.

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, the most prominent supporter of the “leave” campaign, is now seen as a leading contender to replace Cameron.

Cameron promised the referendum to appease the right wing of his own party and blunt a challenge from the U.K. Independence Party, which pledged to leave the EU. After winning a majority in Parliament in the last election, Cameron negotiated a package of reforms that he said would protect Britain’s sovereignty and prevent EU migrants from moving to the U.K. to claim public benefits.

Critics charged that the reforms were hollow, leaving Britain at the mercy of bureaucrats in Brussels and doing nothing to stem the tide of European immigrants coming to the U.K. Those concerns were magnified after more than 1 million people from the Middle East and Africa flooded into the EU last year.

5:25 a.m.

The result of the British referendum has shocked the markets but delighted “leave” campaigners.

“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage declared to loud cheers at a “leave” campaign party. “Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day!”

As results poured in Friday morning, a picture emerged of a sharply divided nation: Strong pro-EU votes in the economic and cultural powerhouse of London and semi-autonomous Scotland were countered by sweeping anti-Establishment sentiment for an exit across the rest of England, from southern seaside towns to rust-belt former industrial powerhouses in the north.

Deputy Labour Party leader John McDonnell says “a lot of people’s grievances are coming out and we have got to start listening to them.”

5:15 a.m.

Britain has entered uncharted waters after the country voted to leave the European Union, according to a projection by all main U.K. broadcasters. The decision shatters the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

The decision raises the likelihood of years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with what will become a 27-nation bloc. In essence the vote marks the start – rather than the end _ of a process that could take decades to unwind.

The “leave” side was ahead by 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent Friday morning with more than three-quarters of votes tallied, making a “remain” win a statistical near-impossibility.

The pound suffered one of its biggest one-day falls in history, plummeting more than 10 percent in six hours, from about $1.50 to below $1.35, on concern that severing ties with the single market will hurt the U.K. economy and undermine London’s position as a global financial center.
(With AP inputs)

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