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Brexit: Britain to leave European Union after referendum

ABC News logo ABC News 24/06/2016 James Glenday

Britain has voted to break out of the European Union, striking a thunderous blow against the bloc and spreading alarm through markets as sterling plummeted to a 31-year low against the dollar.

The result is sparking turmoil on financial markets, with sterling at its lowest level since 1985, and the Leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, said British Prime Minister David Cameron should resign over the decision.

The projected margin is 4 per cent.

Mr Farage, said he now dared to dream about an independent Britain and an end to the European Union.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage. © AAP Image UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage. "I hope this victory brings down this failed project and leads us to a Europe of sovereign nation states working together, trading together," he said.

"And let's get rid of the flag, the anthem, and Brussels and all that's gone wrong."

Mr Farage told the ABC a British exit from the EU should bring the Commonwealth countries closer together.

"If the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people," he told supporters in Westminster.

Europe wakes to 'bad nightmare'

German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel described the result on Twitter as "a bad day for Europe".

Meanwhile Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the vote "makes clear the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union".

"We await the final UK-wide result, but Scotland has spoken — and spoken decisively," she said.

Former Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb called the result a "bad nightmare" as Europe's leaders woke to the shock result.

"Please tell me I'm still sleeping and this is all just a bad nightmare!" Mr Stubb, who was prime minister in 2014-15 and finance minister until this week, wrote on his Twitter feed.

"Usually these things advance in three stages: 1. Crisis; 2. Chaos; 3. Sub-optimal solution. Don't know where we are at this stage."

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