LONDON, June 24 - Britain voted to leave the EU, toppling Prime Minister David Cameron today after the shock defeat in the referendum that triggered a bloodbath in world markets and opened a fresh debate over issues like immigration and advance of the right-wing across Europe.
Speculation mounted on his possible successor with Boris Johnson, the 52-year-old flamboyant former London Mayor who spearheaded the Leave campaign, emerging as the top contender with other senior Conservatives like Chancellor George Osborne and Home Secretary Theresa May also being mentioned in the race.
Brexit won by a wafer-thin majority in the referendum held yesterday that could rewrite Britain�s trade, including market access and services, with Europe and other countries, including India.
Shortly after the official announcement of the results, Cameron, who had gambled on the Remain campaign, stepped out of 10, Downing Street, to announce his intention to resign, saying a new Prime Minister should take charge in October to launch the process to leave the 28-nation bloc.
The final result, overturning over four decades of the UK�s membership of EU, was officially declared as 51.9 per cent in favour of Brexit and 48.1 per cent in favour of Remain by the UK Electoral Commission�s chief counting officer Jenny Watson from Manchester Town Hall.
Britain, the second largest economy in Europe after Germany, is the second country after Greenland to quit the bloc. The referendum turnout was declared as 72.2 per cent with over 30 million people turning out to vote, reflecting�the highest turnout in the UK since 1992. � PTI