sexta-feira, 24 de junho de 2016


In a crushing blow to David Cameron, Leave defeats Remain in Brexit referendum.

By PAUL DALLISON 6/24/16, 5:44 AM CET Updated 6/24/16, 6:55 AM CET

The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum Thursday.

By 5:45 a.m Friday, all of Britain’s major broadcasters had called it for Leave as it became clear that the Remain camp could no longer secure enough votes to win. The forecast with most of the results in is for 52 percent Leave and 48 percent Remain.

Although Scotland and London backed Remain, Wales and the north of England were strongly Leave, and once the anti-EU camp got its nose in front, it stayed ahead.

The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as markets reacted to the news.

After conceding defeat at 10 p.m Thursday, Nigel Farage declared victory at just after 4.05 a.m.

He said he hoped the result “brings down this failed project.” The UKIP leader said: “Ladies and gentleman, dare to dream that a dawn is breaking on an independent, United Kingdom. If the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, for ordinary people, for decent people. We’ve fought against the multi-nationals. We fought against lies and deceit.”

Many Labour MPs were distraught. “It’s a terrible day for Britain and a terrible day for Europe,” said Keith Vaz, the chair of the home affairs select committee.

Turnout was high, at 71.8 percent, with almost 30 million people voting.

Two on-the-day polls had Remain ahead. YouGov gave Remain 52 percent and Leave 48 percent, and Ipsos/MORI put Remain on 54 percent and Leave on 46 percent. Those polls came out shortly after voting closed at 10 p.m local time. There was little cheer for Remain from then on.

As predicted, Scotland and London were the shining lights for the Remain camp, but turnout in those areas was not as high as in many of the areas that voted Leave. The anti-EU votes were highest in the northeast of England and in Wales — the former was expected, the latter was not.

The first declaration came from Gibraltar, where turnout was 84 percent. It was, as expected, a big win for Remain, with 19,322 votes to stay in the EU, and 823 votes to Leave.

The first English result came from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which was just in favor of Remain, with 65,404 votes to 63,598 for Leave. Experts had predicted a much larger victory for Remain.

Shortly after, Sunderland declared. Always likely to be a strong Leave vote, the gap was wider than expected, with Leave on 82,394 votes and Remain on 51,930.

Signs to leave the EU are attached to windows and a balcony of a block of flats in Hove near Brighton, southern England, on June 23, 2016

The two English results played havoc with the financial markets, sending sterling plummeting. It fell 6 percent on the back of the Newcastle and Sunderland results, a fall described by the BBC as not seen since the financial crisis in 2008.

Senior Leave campaigners, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, released a letter late Thursday calling on David Cameron to stay on as prime minister irrespective of the result.

The U.K. remains a member of the EU until it has negotiated its exit.

The fallout was immediate. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the vote “makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.” All 32 local authority areas returned majorities for Remain.

Although Northern Ireland voted in favor of Remain, Irish republican party Sinn Fein said Britain “has forfeited any mandate to represent economic or political interests of people in N. Ireland.”

One simple question

British voters faced a single question Thursday: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

There were two boxes on the ballot paper, “Remain” and “Leave.”

A record 46,499,537 people were entitled to take part, according to figures from the Electoral Commission.

The vote capped months of political drama, intrigue and surprises. It started off calmly enough but soon became nasty, so nasty that it took a tragic event — the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox — to alter the course of the fight, forcing a halt to the campaigns and a softening of the rhetoric.

The library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where Cox was shot and stabbed, was being used as a polling station Thursday and hosted a lunchtime vigil for the murdered politician.

In London, two polling stations had to be moved as the equivalent of a month’s worth of rain fell through the night into Thursday morning. The rain did not appear to have deterred voters, many of whom faced long waits to cast their ballot.

This was only the third nationwide referendum in British history. The last one took place five years ago, when voters rejected an attempt to change the way MPs are elected. The first one was in 1975, when voters were asked if the U.K. should continue to be a member of what was then the European Economic Community.


Paul Dallison  

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