Reuters reports: Britain has voted to leave the European Union, results from Thursday’s referendum showed, a stunning repudiation of the nation’s elites that deals the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.
World financial markets plunged as complete results showed a near 52-48 percent split for leaving. The vote created the biggest global financial shock since the 2008 economic crisis, this time with interest rates around the world already at or near zero, stripping policymakers of the means to fight it.
The pound suffered its biggest one-day fall in history, plunging more than 10 percent against the dollar to hit levels last seen in 1985. The chief ratings officer for Standard & Poor’s told the Financial Times Britain’s AAA credit rating was no longer tenable.
Futures trading predicted massive opening losses on share markets across Europe. Britain’s FTSE futures and Germany’s Dax futures fell about 9 percent. The euro zone’s Euro Stoxx 50 futures sank more than 11 percent.
The vote will initiate at least two years of divorce proceedings with the EU and cast doubt on London’s future as a global financial capital. [Continue reading…]