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The U.K. votes to leave the EU and global markets are tanking

A complete surprise.

Right wing British leader Nigel Farage greeting the press
Geoff Caddick / AFP via Getty

Voters have cast their ballots in the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, and the returns are utterly shocking: According to the BBC and ITV, the initiative for Britain to leave the European Union has won. And just hours after the results were announced, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation.

At the end of voting, the Leave camp finished with a margin of around 1.3 million votes, with 382 of 382 voting districts reporting.

So far, the economic consequences have been devastating worldwide. The full extent of the damage won’t be known for some time, but what’s happened already looks like the most significant market crisis since the U.S. financial meltdown almost a decade ago.

Here’s a rundown of what’s happened so far:

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned. In a speech, he said that “fresh leadership” should oversee the next stage of the Brexit process.
  • The value of the pound against the dollar has fallen to below $1.35, its lowest level since 1985. The Financial Times reports that Standard & Poor’s expects to lower the U.K.’s credit rating.
  • When the U.S. markets open on Friday morning, they’re expected to be down at least 500 points.
  • Trading in Japanese markets was halted.
  • This is not good for the tech industry, which benefits greatly from the liberal trade and economic policies of the EU, and it will be really pissed now.
  • Northern Ireland and Scotland could possibly hold their own independence referendums, as they voted heavily to remain. Far-right politicians in France and the Netherlands are now calling for their own EU separation referendums.
  • For traders working Bloomberg terminals, red isn’t a color you want to see for the headlines. What’s happening below is perhaps unprecedented:

The night started out looking good for Remain

When Thursday evening (British time) began, it looked as though more than half of them were voting to stay, at least according to the YouGov poll released earlier on Thursday. YouGov is credited widely for accurately predicting the outcome of the Scottish national referendum. The results of the poll suggested that 52 percent of people voted to remain while 48 percent voted to leave.

By the time the poll was officially released, the leader of U.K. Independence Party Nigel Farage acknowledged that things were looking grim for the leave camp.

Going into Thursday’s vote, the polls indicated that the referendum’s outcome would come down to the wire, though Bloomberg’s tracker predicted only a 25 percent chance of a Brexit happening before the polls closed.

This post has been updated continuously.

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