Brexit: Britain's '˜earthquake' move to ditch the EU

Love it or hate it, today was an historic and unprecedented moment in the nation's history.

Friday, 24th June 2016, 9:31 am
Updated Friday, 24th June 2016, 10:58 am
ALTERNATE CROP Prime Minister David Cameron walks out of 10 Downing Street, London, with wife Samantha where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in an historic referendum which has thrown Westminster politics into disarray and sent the pound tumbling on the world markets. PHOTO: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire POLITICS_EU_091820.JPG

After 43 years as part of the European Union, Britain has voted to cut ties with its continental neighbours.

It is a seismic shift in the political balance of the region, the tremors of which are going to be felt for generations to come and one that took place in just a few hours.

As the evening started, it was predicted that Remain would clinch victory, albeit narrowly.

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And things started well for the Prime Minister’s campaign to stay in Europe.

Scotland voted emphatically to remain and heeded the PM’s pleas.

But as the hours rolled on, cities in the Midlands began to reveal their results – with millions of voters backing Brexit.

It was here the tide changed, with momentum swelling behind the Leave campaign.

Traditional Labour counties turned out in their droves to back Brexit. Wales then put on a show of force, with city after city, area after area, voting to leave.

By 3am thoughts were turning to the nation’s future, with many now predicting Britain was now on track to cut ties with Europe.

Questions began to be asked by leading MPs from both sides of the referendum over the leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron as areas he hoped would be Remain strongholds unveiled a disappointing turnout, or only minor victories – by no means the decisive win Mr Cameron was hoping for.

Cheers rang out at inside council halls as more and more authorities revealed a Brexit win.

An hour later, just after 4am, UKIP leader Nigel Farage was declaring victory, saying June 23 would be known as ‘Britain’s own independence day’.

As results continued to pour in from across the nation, the pound started its own rollercoaster ride.

It began an unprecedented plummet against the dollar, falling to its lowest rate in decades.

Traders expecting a Remain vote had betted on the pound on Thursday. But it began it staggering decline of more than 10 per cent – the biggest one-day fall in the sterling’s history.

But despite the economic turbulence, key players in the Leave campaign, alongside Brexit voters, continued to celebrate while Remain groups where left licking their wounds in stunned silence.

As the sun rose above the House of Commons, with the Union flag flying in the breeze, Britain faced a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

Then, little more than a hour after it was confirmed the UK was leaving the Europe, Mr Cameron revealed he was stepping down.

Camera shutters from the hoard of photographers outside Number 10 snapped away feverishly as the PM stood with steely resolve in front of the globe’s press.

With his tearful wife Samantha by his side offering support, and with his voice breaking, Mr Cameron said: ‘I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.’

He promised to stay as the prime minister for the next few months to bring ‘stability’ to the nation.

The question now remains – what will the fallout be of yesterday’s vote.

Will June 23, as a jubilant Nigel Farage bullishly said, be celebrated as Britain’s ‘independence day’?

This remains uncertain, much like Britain’s future after this once-in-a-generation referendum.