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Britain, at one point one of the world’s Superpower countries, took a historic vote to break away from the multi-state European Union. The decision has sent ripples through global stock markets and could have a major impact on the West.

The state is the first of the 28 other states to leave the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron quickly announced after the Thursday’s final votes that he will be stepping down after leading a campaign to stay within EU’s economic bloc.

Cameron’s exit came as a shock to many in the United Kingdom and set off a tailspin of lowering stock prices and the value of the British pound took a hit. The margin of victory in the Brexit vote was slim, with 52 percent voting in favor to leave and 48 percent electing to stay within the bloc.

The BBC reports:

The PM had urged the country to vote Remain but was defeated by 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK’s “independence day”, while Boris Johnson said the result would not mean “pulling up the drawbridge”.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “absolutely determined” to keep Scotland in the EU so a second Scottish independence referendum was now “highly likely”.

German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “great regret” at the outcome, and EU chiefs said they expected the UK to begin negotiations to leave “as soon as possible, however painful that process may be”.

But Boris Johnson, the ex-London mayor and public face of Vote Leave who is now a frontrunner to be next prime minister, said there was “no need for haste” about severing the UK’s ties.

He said voters had “searched in their hearts” and the UK now had a “glorious opportunity” to pass its own laws, set its own taxes and control its own borders.”

Johnson’s statement on border control is what some experts say is also at the root of the success of the Leave campaign. Some older, conservative voters in Britain were opponents of immigration and the EU wholly embraced the practice. There is also some chatter that voters wanted the state to have a higher economic stature within the EU.

What impact the decision has on Britain has yet to be determined, but the effects will be felt for some time yet.

Interestingly, Google searches to figure out what exactly is the EU significantly rose AFTER the vote.

Photo: Hugo Gloss/Instagram