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”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have said they are in “full agreement” on how to handle the fallout from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. hollande merkel

Mr Hollande warned that “separated, we run the risk of divisions, dissension and quarrels”. The two will hold talks later in Berlin amid a flurry of diplomatic activity in the wake of so-called “Brexit”. The pound fell further in early trading in Asia on Monday as markets reacted. UK Chancellor George Osborne made a statement before the start of trading in the UK in a bid to calm markets. He said the UK was ready to face the future “from a position of strength”, although he accepted the economy would have to confront challenges and that further volatility on financial markets was likely. David-Cameron-442339

Mr Osborne said that thorough contingency plans were in place, in discussion with the Bank of England, and that “we are equipped for whatever happens”. He indicated that there would be no immediate emergency budget

But Boris Johnson, the ex-London mayor and public face of Vote Leave who is now a front-runner to be next prime minister, said there was “no need for haste” about severing the UK’s tiesHe 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.

Another leading Leave campaigner, Labour’s Gisela Stuart, said the UK would be a “good neighbour” when it left the EU. UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK’s “independence day”, while Boris Johnson said the result would not mean “pulling up the drawbridge”.                                                                                                                                                        Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “absolutely determined” to keep Scotland in the EU so a second Scottish independence referendum was now “highly likely”.

The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results. The slide halted when the Bank of England said it stood ready with £250bn of extra funding to ensure market stability. But the pound remains 8% down against the dollar, and 6% lower against the euro.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said UK banks’ “substantial capital and huge liquidity” allowed them to continue to lend to businesses and households. Chancellor George Osborne said he had briefed G7 finance ministers about the consequences of the vote. On Twitter, he said it had been a “hard-fought campaign” and while it was not the outcome he wanted, “I will do all I can to make it work”.

The referendum turnout was 71.8% – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.

Mr Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – told cheering supporters: “This will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people.”

What happens next?


  • Prime minister to chair a Cabinet meeting
  • Executive of backbench 1922 committee of Conservative MPs to draw up the timetable for the Conservative leadership contest
  • MPs to return from Parliamentary recess for sitting in afternoon
  • Parliamentary Labour Party to discuss a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn, if chairman allows


  • European Parliament to hold an emergency session to discuss referendum result
  • EU Council meeting: national leaders will hold a two-day summit
  • If motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn is accepted, Labour MPs to hold secret ballot on his future


  • Following the EU Council meeting, 27 leaders meet, without Mr Cameron round the table



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