LONDON (AP) – 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.