How the world reacted to Britain leaving the EU

Britain voted in favour of leaving the European Union by 51.8% to 48.2%

How the world reacted to Britain leaving the EU

Image: Virginia Mayo / AP/Press Association Images

As dawn broke, Europe woke up to the news that Britain had decided to leave the European Union.

In an historic referendum, the UK voted in favour of a Brexit by a margin of 51.8% to 48.2%.

Sterling plummeted, stock markets crashed and after six years as Prime Minister David Cameron announced he will step down by October.

A few hours before the final votes were counted, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage had already claimed victory.

In a triumphant speech on College Green in Westminster following the official results he said it was a victory for the ordinary and decent people.

"It's a victory against the big merchant banks, against the big businesses and against big politics," he added.

"I'm proud of everybody that had the courage in the face of all the threats, everything they were told, they had the guts to stand up and do the right thing.

"The EU’s failing, the EU’s dying. I hope we've knocked the first brick out of the wall."

He also declared June 23rd would "go down in our history as our independence day" and called for it to become a national bank holiday.

The UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who'd campaigned to stay in, didn't have much to say to reporters as he left his home in north London.

Speaking to the BBC later, he said that people must respect the decision of the British people, and the take away message from the result is that "many communities are fed up with cuts they've had... and the way they've been marginalised by successive governments."

Many questions have been raised about the future of the UK as a result of the EU referendum.

In Scotland, every region voted to remain in the European Union.

The question now is whether this could trigger a second referendum in Scotland and could ultimately spell a break up of the United Kingdom.

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland has "made it clear" that it wants to remain part of the EU.

In Northern Ireland, the National Chairman of Sinn Féin Declan Kearney has said this must lead to a vote on a united Ireland.

“Sinn Féin will now continue to press vigorously towards the calling for a border poll under the provisions of the Good Friday agreement,” Mr Kearney said.

Google searches have also been reflecting fears about travel implications for people living in Britain.

There has been a large surge in the amount of google searches for the term "irish passport" or "irish passport application", with most of those originating from Ireland and the UK.

Via: Google Trends

What do our politicians think of the result?

In a statement issued this morning the Irish government said the result has "very significant implications for Ireland, as well as for Britain and for the European Union."

The cabinet is to hold an emergency meeting at approximately 10am to relfect on the results. 

Following the meeting, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny will address the media.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that Ireland must be "absolutely clear about our position".

"We will not be following the UK and we will work constructively to reform the EU from within," he added.

"The economic, social and political case for Ireland to be a member of the Union remains overwhelming."

"The result is regrettable but it must now be dealt with quickly and decisively."

MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, described the result of the UK’s referendum on Europe as a "bridge to the unknown".

He highlighted the euro/sterling exchange rate as an "immediate danger" to Ireland.

“Britain’s decision to leave the EU is a massive political earthquake. The shock waves of this decision will unfold in the days and months ahead.

"Ireland is right to be worried and apprehensive - as our single most important trading partner, Britain’s decision leaves us vulnerable to negative currency fluctuations."

How has the rest of the world been reacting?

President Obama, who strongly backed the remain camp, has been briefed about the results.

According to BBC, a White House spokesperson stated: "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."

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave his thoughts on the Brexit as he arrived in Scotland this morning.

And finally.. amidst the chaos, one lighter moment was brought to the world by Fox News who made an unfortunate blunder on their TV bulletin.