by WorldTribune Staff, June 24, 2016
Leave has won the EU referendum by 52 to 48 percent. The final tally was 17,410,742 for Leave and 16,141,241 for Remain, the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.
Tory MP Liam Fox, a Leave supporter, said voters had shown great “courage” by deciding to “change the course of history” for the UK and, he hoped, the rest of Europe.
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Prime Minister David Cameron, who failed to lead the Remain camp to victory, has said he will step down by October. Speaking outside 10 Downing Street on June 24, Cameron said “fresh leadership” was needed.
“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected,” Cameron said. “The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed the vote as the UK’s “independence day,” while Boris Johnson, the ex-London mayor and front-runner to replace Cameron, said the result would not mean “pulling up the drawbridge.”
Johnson said voters had “searched in their hearts” and the UK now had a “glorious opportunity” to pass its own laws, set its own taxes and control its own borders.
Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “absolutely determined” to keep Scotland in the EU and that a second Scottish independence referendum was now “highly likely.”
German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “great regret” at the outcome, and EU chiefs said they expected the UK to begin negotiations to leave “as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.”
In the U.S., both President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had supported Remain, while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had backed the Leave campaign.
“Republican strategists had panned Trump’s decision to travel to the UK in the midst of campaign turmoil, and in the wake of his blistering attack on Hillary Clinton earlier this week,” Breitbart reported. “Now, however, it looks like a risk that paid off handsomely, in the currency of foreign policy credibility.”
Obama had warned British voters they would be at the “back of the queue” in trade with the U.S. if they left the EU.
Clinton’s senior policy adviser had issued a statement saying “Hillary Clinton believes that transatlantic cooperation is essential, and that cooperation is strongest when Europe is united. She has always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong EU. And she values a strong British voice in the EU.”
Trump, who is in Scotland to open a golf resort, promised in May that leaving the EU would not put Britain at the “back of the queue,” and said: “I think if I were from Britain I would probably want to go back to a different system.”
“I would personally be more inclined to leave, for a lot of reasons like having a lot less bureaucracy. … But I am not a British citizen. This is just my opinion,” Trump said.