Britons vote on EU membership

A record 46.5 million people registered to cast their ballot in the one-in-a-generation referendum


Reuters June 24, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Millions of Britons were voting Thursday on whether to stay in the EU.

Latest opinion polls put the “Remain” camp narrowly ahead after a close-fought and often vitriolic campaign focused on immigration, the economy and Britain’s very identity.

A record 46.5 million people registered to cast their ballot in the one-in-a-generation referendum.

If Britain becomes the first state to exit the EU, the so-called ‘Brexit’ would be the biggest blow to the 28-nation bloc since its foundation.

It would see the EU stripped of its second-biggest economy and one of its two main military powers, and could face calls for similar votes by anti-EU politicians in other countries.

If it votes to stay, Britain has been promised a special status exempting it from further political integration but European leaders will still have to address a sharp rise in euroscepticism across the continent.

The polling stations opened at 6:00am on Thursday and were due to close at 9:00pm. The results, however, are not expected to be announced before early Friday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2016.

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