The Latest: Britain’s Cameron to resign; won’t lead EU talks


LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union (all times local):

8:25 a.m.

Prime Minister David Cameron says he will resign by the fall and insists the British people’s will must be respected after voters chose to leave the 28-nation European Union.

Cameron says there can be no doubt about the result of Thursday’s historic vote but that he is not the “captain” that will steer the ship through difficult negotiations with the EU.

He says he will resign by the time of the Conservative party conference in the fall.

British stocks are plunging as the market opens as investors scramble to react to the news. The pound has hit a 31-year low.

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8:20 a.m.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Australians that Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was no cause “to be alarmed.”

But he said the global uncertainty and instability the decision would cause underscored the need for Australians to re-elect his conservative coalition at elections on July 2.

“This is a momentous and historic decision and we respect the wishes of the British people,” Turnbull told reporters in Devonport.

“It is important to remember that the Australian economy is strong and resilient and has weathered global shocks before,” he added.

Turnbull said he was “very confident” that Australia, a former British colony which maintains constitutional links, would continue negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU.

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8:15 a.m.

British stocks are plunging as the market opens as investors scramble to react to the news that the country has voted to leave the European Union.

The result of Thursday’s historic vote has ushered in an era of uncertainty for the country and region.

The main stock index, the FTSE 100, nosedived 8.7 percent to 5,790 points shortly after the open Friday. The British pound, which trades around the clock, has plunged to a 31-year low at $1.3706.

The German DAX index, which tends to be more volatile, dropped as much as 10 percent. If that loss stands for the day, it would be the biggest drop in the index’s history.

An exit from the EU is expected to weigh heavily on the British economy in coming months and years, possibly pushing it into recession. The drop in the pound could drive up inflation, and the uncertainty over the country’s future trade relations could cause businesses to hold back on investment.

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8:10 a.m.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said that beyond “the blow” Britain has dealt the European Union, the referendum result must be seized on to fundamentally rethink the European project.

Michel said he wants a special “conclave” of EU leaders as soon as next month to reassess options, considering discontent is spreading even well beyond Britain.

He says “we need to keep a cool head and need to see what new way of cooperation would be possible.

He proposes a conclave in July to use this tough moment to look at a new perspective.”

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8:05 a.m.

Germany’s vice chancellor says it’s a bad day for Europe after British voters chose to leave the European Union.

Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany’s economy minister, wrote on Twitter: “Damn! A bad day for Europe.”

Germany is the most populous country in the 28-nation EU and has its biggest economy.

Leaders in past months have been emphasizing that while it was up to the British people to decide, Germany wanted Britain to remain in the European Union.

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8 a.m.

European Union President Donald Tusk says the bloc will meet without Britain at summit next week to assess its future after British voters chose to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Tusk says the group is “determined to keep our unity at 27” nations and not have any more defections.

Speaking in Brussels on Friday, Tusk says he is confident in the EU’s future, adding that “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

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7:55 a.m.

The president of the European Parliament says he expects negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union to start quickly.

Martin Schulz told Germany’s ZDF television Friday that he expects British Prime Minister David Cameron to invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty, which would set in motion the exit process.

Schulz says years of suspense would be “neither in the interests of Great Britain nor in the interests of Germany, France, Italy or the other member states of the EU.”

He says: “I assume that the negotiations on the exit will now start quickly.”

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7:50 a.m.

French President Francois Hollande has convened an emergency government meeting in the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union.

Hollande’s office announced the Friday morning meeting, saying only that it would be about Europe’s future.

Hollande has not publicly commented on the result of the British vote, which will have consequences for the whole continent.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who is more popular in polls than Hollande, called Friday for a similar anti-EU referendum in France.

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7:40 a.m.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says British Prime Minister David Cameron must move urgently to stabilize the pound, which was trading around $1.3706 Friday morning after plummeting to a 31-year low.

Corbyn also says Britain’s main opposition party will oppose any emergency budget or expansion of Britain’s austerity program resulting from the Thursday vote to leave the European Union.

The Bank of England says it’s ready to take “all necessary steps” to help keep Britain stable after voters chose to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Corbyn says British manufacturing depends on trade with the EU and called for careful steps to preserve British trade. He and other senior Labour figures had urged voters to remain in the EU.

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7:35 a.m.

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso said he is “extremely concerned” about the impact and risks of Britain’s exit from the European Union on global financial markets.

“I’m extremely concerned about possible risks that the apparent decision would pose on global financial and currency markets, where stability is very important,” Aso told reporters in an emergency news conference.

British voters have chosen to leave the EU, shattering the framework for continental unity.

Aso said he is particularly concerned about the nervous movement in the currency markets and hoped to see “firm intervention whenever necessary.” The British pound has tanked to $1.3706 after hitting a 31-year low earlier Friday.

7:30 a.m.

UK Independence Leader Nigel Farage says Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is “a victory for ordinary people, against the big banks, big business and big politics.”

Speaking Friday morning after the shocking British vote to leave the bloc, Farage insists the EU itself is dying. He called for June 23 to be made a new national bank holiday known as Independence Day.

Far-right leaders in France and the Netherlands have already called for a similar anti-EU vote.

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7:25 a.m.

Commuters at the main train station in the well-heeled southwest London borough of Richmond, which voted overwhelmingly to remain, expressed anger and frustration at the British vote to leave the EU.

“I’m quite shocked really,” said Martin Laidler. “My nine-year-old daughter asked me to vote to remain, so I was voting for her future.”

Olivia Sangster-Bullers, 24, said the result was “absolutely disgusting.”

“My best friend and his partner, one of them is from Spain. How does he feel now?”

Asked whether it would affect her life, she said: “I’ve just seen that the pound’s crashed, so good luck to all of us I say, especially those trying to build a future with our children.”

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7:20 a.m.

The Bank of England says it’s ready to take “all necessary steps” to help keep Britain stable after voters chose to leave the 28-nation European Union.

The results of the vote Thursday have shaken global markets and caused the pound to tank, which will cause a slide in inflation, a major concern for the central bank. Investors are also poised to dump British stocks as soon as the market opens in London on Friday.

The bank says Friday it had prepared with extensive contingency planning and “is working closely with HM Treasury, other domestic authorities and overseas central banks.”

The bank says it will take “all necessary steps” to meet its responsibilities for monetary and fiscal stability.

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7:10 a.m.

The United States is reacting cautiously to the decision by Britain’s voters to bolt the 28-nation European Union, with a White House official saying only that President Barack Obama is being kept up to date on developments.

The official said Obama was expected to speak with British Prime Minister David Cameron “over the course of the next day.”

Obama has encouraged Britain to remain in the EU but has said the decision ultimately was up to British voters.

— By Kevin Freking.

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7:05 a.m.

Analysts are cutting their estimates for Britain’s economic growth after the country voted to leave the European Union, ushering in a period of high uncertainty that is likely to shake businesses, consumers and markets for some time.

Howard Archer, the global economist for IHS Global Insight, says his research group is slashing its growth forecast for this year to 1.5 percent from 2.0 percent and, more dramatically, to 0.2 percent for next year from 2.4 percent previously.

Archer expects the Bank of England to switch from hoping to raise interest rates soon to cutting them by a quarter point to 0.25 percent before long.

He says: “Major economic and political uncertainty will be a fact of life for some considerable time, likely weighing down markedly on business and household confidence and behavior, so dampening corporate investment, employment and consumer spending.”

Analysts at Capital Economics have the same growth forecasts for 2016 but are more hopeful about 2017, seeing 1.5 percent growth.

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7 a.m.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen says there should be a similar referendum about EU membership in France after Britons voted to leave the 28-nation bloc.

“A victory for Freedom,” Le Pen tweeted. “We now need the same referendum in France and in EU nations.”

In the Netherlands, her ally Geert Wilders of the far-right PVV party also immediately called for a similar plebiscite.

Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent on Thursday to leave the EU to take greater control of the country’s economy and its borders. The decision has shocked global markets and sent the pound plummeting to the lowest level in 31 years.

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6:55 a.m.

Top European Union officials are hunkering down in Brussels trying to work out how to navigate uncharted waters after the shocking decision by British voters to leave the 28-nation bloc.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is hosting talks Friday with the leaders of the European Council and Parliament, along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

The four will try to agree a European position on the vote, which could see a member country leave the bloc for the first time ever, ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels starting on Tuesday.

Parliamentary leaders were meeting separately, and European commissioners — the EU’s executive body — could hold separate talks later.

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6:50 a.m.

Shocked investors are ready to dump British stocks as soon as the market opens at 0700 GMT (3 a.m. EDT).

Futures for the benchmark stock index FTSE 100 are down 7.5 percent and the pound, which trades 24 hours a day, has already fallen to its lowest level since 1985 after British voters took the historic decision to pull their country out of the 28-nation European Union.

The British currency was down 7.9 percent against the dollar at $1.3406, the lowest level in 31 years. It was down 5.1 percent against the euro, at 1.2193 euros.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU launches what will be years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with the EU.

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6:40 a.m.

The head of the biggest political bloc in the European Parliament says the U.K. vote to leave the EU is damaging but that the decision is for Britain, not the European Union.

European People’s Party chairman Manfred Weber says Friday that the vote “causes major damage to both sides, but in first line to the U.K.”

Weber added that “this was a British vote, not a European vote. People in the other states don’t want to leave Europe.”

Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent on Thursday to leave the EU to take greater control of the country’s economy and borders.

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6:30 a.m.

One of the leaders of the victorious ‘leave’ campaign has reassured the European Union that Britain will continue to be a good neighbor after its unprecedented vote to leave the bloc.

Labour lawmaker Gisela Stuart, who was born in Germany, spoke in German to say that “Britain is an open society, it is a welcoming society and we will continue to be cooperating with European countries on an international level.”

As the British pound and global stock markets fell at the shocking result, Stuart says “it is incumbent on all of us to be very calm, remember that our responsibility is to the future of the United Kingdom, and work together to start a process.”

She says “in the long run, I think that both Europe and the United Kingdom will emerge stronger as a result.”

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6:25 a.m.

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders is calling for a plebiscite in the Netherlands about leaving the European Union after Britons voted to ditch the 28-nation bloc.

Wilders tweeted: “Hurrah for the British! Now it is our turn. Time for a Dutch referendum!”

EU officials have long suspected that a British decision to leave the bloc would be quickly claimed as a victory among the far left and right in European politics.

The British vote is considered a political earthquake that will shatter the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II.

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6:15 a.m.

As dawn broke over London, those who wanted Britain to stay in the European Union woke up to grim news: voters had chosen instead to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Veteran Labour lawmaker Keith Vaz says “this is a crushing, crushing decision. This is a terrible day for Europe.”

Green lawmaker Caroline Lucas said she was devastated by the news, blaming “alienation, anger and frustration” for the results of Thursday’s vote.

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, a prominent “remain” campaigner, says “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted magic more” in a Twitter message.

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6:05 a.m.

Britain has voted to leave the European Union to take greater control of its economy and its borders, shattering the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II.

The decision launches what will be years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with the EU, which will shrink to a 27-nation bloc.

Results released early Friday show the “leave” side prevailed 52 percent to 48 percent in Thursday’s vote as tallied by British broadcasters. The vote had a turnout of 72 percent.

The U.K. is the first major country to decide to leave the bloc, which evolved from the ashes of the war as the region’s leaders sought to build links and avert future hostility.

Financial authorities around the world have warned that a British exit will reverberate through a delicate global economy.

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5:50 a.m.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon says her country cast an “unequivocal” vote to remain in the European Union — a result that raises the specter of a new referendum on Scottish independence.

Sturgeon said “the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.”

All 32 voting areas in Scotland voted to stay in the EU, but they were outnumbered by a strong English “leave” vote.

Scotland rejected independence from the UK in its own 2014 referendum, but Friday’s result gives new momentum to the cause.

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5:40 a.m.

Britain’s vote to leave the 28-nation European Union is likely to cost Prime Minister David Cameron his job.

The leader of the ruling Conservative Party had staked his reputation on keeping Britain in the EU.

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, the most prominent supporter of the “leave” campaign, is now seen as a leading contender to replace Cameron.

Cameron promised the referendum to appease the right wing of his own party and blunt a challenge from the U.K. Independence Party, which pledged to leave the EU. After winning a majority in Parliament in the last election, Cameron negotiated a package of reforms that he said would protect Britain’s sovereignty and prevent EU migrants from moving to the U.K. to claim public benefits.

Critics charged that the reforms were hollow, leaving Britain at the mercy of bureaucrats in Brussels and doing nothing to stem the tide of European immigrants coming to the U.K. Those concerns were magnified after more than 1 million people from the Middle East and Africa flooded into the EU last year.

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5:25 a.m.

The result of the British referendum has shocked the markets but delighted “leave” campaigners.

“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage declared to loud cheers at a “leave” campaign party. “Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day!”

As results poured in Friday morning, a picture emerged of a sharply divided nation: Strong pro-EU votes in the economic and cultural powerhouse of London and semi-autonomous Scotland were countered by sweeping anti-Establishment sentiment for an exit across the rest of England, from southern seaside towns to rust-belt former industrial powerhouses in the north.

Deputy Labour Party leader John McDonnell says “a lot of people’s grievances are coming out and we have got to start listening to them.”

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5:15 a.m.

Britain has entered uncharted waters after the country voted to leave the European Union, according to a projection by all main U.K. broadcasters. The decision shatters the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

The decision raises the likelihood of years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with what will become a 27-nation bloc. In essence the vote marks the start — rather than the end — of a process that could take decades to unwind.

The “leave” side was ahead by 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent Friday morning with more than three-quarters of votes tallied, making a “remain” win a statistical near-impossibility.

The pound suffered one of its biggest one-day falls in history, plummeting more than 10 percent in six hours, from about $1.50 to below $1.35, on concern that severing ties with the single market will hurt the U.K. economy and undermine London’s position as a global financial center.

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