LONDON — The polls closed Thursday in Britain’s historic referendum and a leading supporter of the campaign to leave the European Union said it looked like his side has lost the vote, though other leaders on both sides cautioned that it was far too early to say who had won.
U.K. Independent Party leader Nigel Farage told Sky news “it looks like ‘remain’ will edge it” in the referendum on whether to stay in the 28-nation bloc. Votes will be counted through the night, with results expected early Friday.
The pound strengthened throughout the day Thursday on speculation that “remain” would win, and it strengthened further after polls closed.
More than 46 million of the United Kingdom’s 65 million residents were registered to vote, answering a seemingly simple question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” The heated campaign saw the nation take stock of its place in the modern world and question its future direction.
“The future will be completely different, depending on the result,” said photographer Antony Crolla, 49, outside a London polling station. “I think it is going to be really close.”
“Leave” campaigners claim that only a British exit, informally known as a Brexit, can restore power to Parliament and control immigration. The “remain” campaign, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, argues that Britain is safer and richer inside the EU.
Financial markets have been volatile ahead of the vote, with currency traders predicting mayhem and a plunging pound if Britain chooses to leave.BrexitBritainleaveLondonNigel FarageremainUK Independent PartyUKIPUnited KingdomWorld