Britain has voted in its historic EU referendum. Also known as the Brexit vote, the EU referendum allowed Brits to decide whether to ‘remain” or “leave” the EU.
However, the vote count did not unfold as expected.
All of the votes have been counted, and 52% of voters voted “leave” while 48% voted “remain.”
Initially, stocks soared and the British pound rallied as voters headed to the polls. After the polls closed, the early results reflected a healthy lead for the ‘remain’ vote, which is what most experts had forecasted.
But a little after midnight in London, or 7pm in New York, the ‘leave’ vote won in the district of Sunderland by a shockingly wide margin. And as more and more votes were tallied, more and more districts confirmed that voters wanted to make their Brexit.
The British pound crashed to a 31-year-low and stock market futures plunged. Global markets are tumbling.
Economist Samuel Tombs characterized the event as “an act of economic self-harm with global ramifications.”
“The potential for additional referendums could be more disconcerting if it threw the notion of a unified European economy into doubt,” Citigroup strategist Tobias Levkovich said last week. “In this respect, the Brexit vote itself is less important than a series of follow-on votes around the Continent.“