LONDON — The United Kingdom voted to end 43 years of
European Union membership after a divisive referendum campaign that prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he would resign. The vote sent global markets crashing over the potential dismantling of a union designed to ensure peace and security for a continent ravaged by two world wars.
The margin of victory was 52% to 48%. Cameron, who had campaigned to remain in the 28-member EU resigned shortly after the final result from Thursday's vote was announced.
The outcome means that the U.K. will now spend up to two years launching a process to renegotiate its trade, business and political links with a bloc that will have 27 members. It is an unprecedented separation that could take far longer to complete.
“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” said
Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party. “Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day.”
Farage's party opposes the wave of migrants pouring into Europe from the Middle East and North Africa, a crisis that became a major reason cited by those favoring an exit from the EU, which sets immigration policy for member nations. READ MORE