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EU Referendum Leave result: Jeremy Corbyn says he would stand again if leadership contest triggered

Leave campaign says nothing will change in short term and no need to evoke Article 50 - pressure mounts on Jeremy Corbyn following result

By Jonny Bell

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union - sending shockwaves and uncertainty throughout the financial and political worlds leaving the Remain campaign in a state of incredulity and Prime Minister David Cameron resigning.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said another independence referendum was "highly likely".

Ministers plan Brussels talks 'to protect Scotland's place in the EU'

Jeremy Corbyn vows to fight to keep Labour leadership 

She said: "it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland faced the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will and her government would begin preparing legislation to enable another independence vote.

The SNP leader said her priority was to reassure the people of Scotland about their immediate future and she would explore all options to secure Scotland's place in the European Union.

She added: "Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will forever remain friends."

Responding, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State said Scotland had voted to be a part of the UK and that would remain the case.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the test for a Northern Ireland border poll had not been met.

"Our Nation is safe," she said.

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How the UK voted in 2016 EU referendum [infographic]

First Minister Arlene Foster: 'Our nation is safe and Northern Ireland will be front and centre of Brexit negotiations' 

Sinn Fein calls for border poll on united Ireland after Brexit win in EU referendum

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While the UK voted in favour of Leave, the majority of Northern Ireland votes opted for Remain.

The result has sent shockwaves through financial markets and the political sphere with Prime Minister David Cameron announcing his decision to resign.

Boris Johnson has paid tribute to David Cameron as "one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age" following the Prime Minister's decision to step down after the Brexit vote.

The former London mayor, standard bearer for the Vote Leave campaign, said Mr Cameron was a "brave and principled man" who had given "superb leadership".

Giving his reaction to the Leave camp's victory, Mr Johnson insisted that the Brexit vote "does not mean that the United Kingdom will be in any way less united" or "less European".

In a speech at Vote Leave's headquarters in London, he said: "I believe the British people have spoken up for democracy in Britain and across Europe and I think we can be very proud of the result."

Pressure is also mounting on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Sky is reporting that the Parliamentary Labour Party is sounding out support for a leadership challenge.

Prime Minister David Cameron's resignation speech in full 

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Mr Cameron said he accepted the decision of the electorate, which voted by 52% to 48% to quit the EU.

He said he would leave it to his successor to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which kicks off the two-year process of negotiating a new trade relationship with the UK's former partners.

"The country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction," said Mr Cameron. "I will do everything I can as Prime Minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I don't think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."

A clearly emotional Mr Cameron said he stood by his assertion that the UK could "find a way" to survive outside the EU.

"Now the decision has been made to leave we need to find the best way and I will do everything I can to help," he said.

Minutes after the PM's statement, Bank of England governor Mark Carney announced he was making £250 billion available to support markets, as he pledged that the Bank "will not hesitate to take additional measures as required as markets adjust and the UK economy moves forward".

His announcement will trigger a battle for the Conservative leadership - and the keys to Number 10 - likely to feature Brexit standard-bearer Boris Johnson taking on figures such as Home Secretary Theresa May, who took a low profile in the referendum campaign.

Boris heckled

An angry crowd labelled Boris Johnson a "twat" and "scum" as he emerged from his London home following the Leave campaign's historic victory in the EU referendum.

The prominent Brexiteer was heckled on his way to the Vote Leave headquarters.

Mr Johnson said nothing to the dozens of journalists waiting outside his home when he finally left, flanked by several police officers who escorted him to a waiting car.

One member of the public was heard to shout "twat" before a short time later Mr Johnson's car was trapped by a crowd of around 40 cyclists and onlookers blocking a junction.

His vehicle was halted for around five minutes and police officers, who had been guarding his home, were nowhere to be seen.

The crowd taunted him with shouts of "where are you going, Boris?" and "scum!" and hurled other profanities as his car was trapped in front of a green light, unable to move.

One man yelled: "The pound is down, what do you say about that? Is it going to be all right, Boris? Is the UK going to be all right, Boris? Are we going to be all right, mate? Come on, man up."

Although the crowds had Mr Johnson's car stuck in the road, they did not appear to approach it.

Officers eventually arrived at the junction around 200 metres from his house, where they had been controlling a media scrum and crowds of onlookers.

There were cries of "shame" as the car, with tinted windows, was eventually freed and moved off.

Mr Johnson eventually arrived at Leave headquarters on the Embankment at around 10am but swept in through a back entrance, avoiding dozens of press reporters, photographers and video journalists who had been braced to expect his arrival at the front of the building.

Shock

The Prime Minister's decision to step down is "truly shocking" and a "sad day for the country", ministers have said.

David Cameron's Cabinet colleagues said they had hoped he would stay on to steer Britain through its renegotiations with the EU.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "It's truly shocking news, I think it's deeply saddening.

"As I was just saying only a few minutes ago, I would very much have preferred David Cameron to be steering this country through the next few years.

"I entirely respect his decision but I think it is a sad day for the country that he has decided to stand down."

Her sentiments were echoed by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who said the PM believed he was doing the "honourable thing" after the referendum vote.

He told the Today programme: "Well of course it is extremely sad news. I would have preferred him to have stayed on and to have helped make this decision work, but it's his decision.

"I think he feels it is the honourable thing to do, the decent thing to do - he lost the argument in the referendum campaign."

Asked who he thought might replace the PM and lead the renegotiations, he said: "That is matter now for the party to elect a new prime minister to be in place for the autumn and to take that forward.

"I think it is a bit too early to start speculating about that, and there is plenty to do now to help make this decision work, to stabilise our economy, to reassure our allies and to continue the programme we were all elected on last year."

n Brussels and capitals around Europe, political leaders and officials went into emergency meetings to plan a response to the UK's seismic decisions, which sent shockwaves around the world.

European Council president Donald Tusk said there was "no way of predicting all the political consequences of this event, especially for the UK" and called for calm.

"It is a historic moment but for sure not a moment for hysterical reactions," he said.

Mr Cameron said he had summoned the Cabinet to meet on Monday, the day before he goes to Brussels for a summit where he will "explain the decision the British people have taken and my own decision" to leaders of the remaining 27 member states.

Announcing his resignation after six years as PM - and just 13 months after securing an absolute majority for the first time - was "not a decision I have taken lightly", said Mr Cameron.

But he added: "I do believe it is in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.

"There is no need for a precise timetable today, but in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October."

He went on: "The negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister and I think it is right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU."

Remain supporters had to respect the people's decision and "help to make it work", said the PM

Independence day

Ukip leader Nigel Farage declared that June 23 should "go down in history as our independence day", while Vote Leave's chair, the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, said it was "our opportunity to take back control of a whole area of democratic decisions".

Sterling suffered one of its biggest plunges in the overnight markets, hitting lows last seen in 1985 and losing more than 10% against the US dollar, as traders responded with panic to the prospect of the UK quitting the European Union after 43 years.

As polling stations closed at 10pm on Thursday with polls still predicting a Remain victory, 84 pro-Leave Tories - including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove - handed over a letter to Mr Cameron urging him to stay on as leader whatever the result of the referendum.

But as Leave built an increasingly unassailable lead as the night wore on, with victories in the Tory English shires, Labour strongholds in the north, Wales and midlands, others in his party raised questions about Mr Cameron's future.

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