Brexit: Great Britain says it wants to leave the European Union
The BBC, ITV and Sky News are forecasting that British voters have decided to leave the European Union. While the media are reporting the referendum outcome as irreversible, reportedly neither camp has yet achieved the 16.4 million votes said to be necessary to declare victory.
Of the votes counted so far, 51.7 % were in favor of Brexit. If the Brexit result is upheld, it is anticipated that London will ask Brussels to activate Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union.
Activation of that article will launch the two-year process for negotiating the conditions of Britain's departure. The first votes in the referendum were cast in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.
The vast majority of voters there (95.9 %) advocated for staying in the EU. The next part of the UK to vote was the Scottish archipelago of Clackmannanshire, Newcastle, Orkney and Sunderland.
The first victory for Brexit advocates came from Sunderland, where 61.3 % voted to leave. A victory for Brexit in Sunderland had been anticipated, but not such a significant one.
Voters in the districts of Anglesey, Basildon, Brentwood, Bury, Harlow and Middelsborough also voted in favor of separation from Brussels. Pro-EU voters won, for example, in Oxford, where they scored 70.3 % of the vote, in the City of London with 75.3 %, and in Clackmannanshire, Dundee, the Shetland Islands and Stirling.
Scotland's vote as a whole was clearly pro-EU. In Glasgow, backers of the EU won 66.6 % of the vote with a turnout of 56.2 %.
The pro-EU camp in Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, received 61.1 % of the vote. As of 5:30 AM Central European Summer Time the results in Edinburgh had yet to be announced.
London was trending in favor of the EU with the exception of the districts of Barking and Dagenham. Advocates of British membership in the EU won comfortably with 58.2 % in Liverpool.
Voter turnout in that significant port city in northwestern England was 64 %. After the results in Sunderland were announced as a significant Brexit victory, the pound sharply fell to a value of USD 1.4804, then to USD 1.4070 and ultimately fell below USD 1.4.
The Wall Street Journal reported that just hours before voting began, the pound had reached a six-month high, peaking above $1.50. Twitter users reported that the fall in the value of sterling was its steepest decline since the economic crisis in 1976.
The betting office Betfair has significantly increased the probability of a victory for those advocating Brexit, placing the odds at 79 % up from 51 % earlier in the evening. Voting in the referendum ended yesterday at 23:00 Central European Summer Time, and the results are becoming clearer this morning.
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