Voters in the U.K. have decided to leave the European Union, a decision that has shocked Europe, shaken global markets and pushed Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his upcoming resignation.
The EU referendum vote was decisive — 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of dissolving the United Kingdom’s 43-year membership in the European community. But Northern Ireland and Scotland voted in favor of remaining, raising the specter that the United Kingdom itself may break apart.
Cameron announced he will resign before his Conservative Party conference in October.
“I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union,” Cameron said Friday. “But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path, and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”
Photo: Advocates for the U.K. leaving the EU wave Union flags and cheer as the results come in at the Leave.EU referendum party at Millbank Tower in central London early Friday morning. Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images