The British public voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum Friday. The departure is dubbed "Brexit" — Britain’s exit from the 28-member bloc.
Here's what we know.
Morning! U.K. votes for ‘Brexit’
The margin of victory for "Brexit" in the referendum was 52% to 48%. "Leave" supporters argued that severing ties with the EU is the only way to reduce high levels of immigration and ensure the U.K.'s sovereignty over EU regulations. “Remainers” said jobs, the economy, national security and the U.K.'s standing on the world stage would be compromised outside the 28-member bloc.
Cameron announces resignation
Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the EU, announced he will step down. “We should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October,” he said in a speech outside Downing Street on Friday.
He said he informed Queen Elizabeth II of his decision, adding that the will of the British people “must be respected.” Among his possible successors is Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London who led the “leave” campaign, analysts say.
Photos | Britain votes to exit the EU
Pound plunges, global markets in turmoil
The British pound fell 11% to a 31-year low while Dow futures dived more than 600 points. Britain's main stock index, the FTSE 100, nosedived 8.7% to 5,790 points shortly after the open Friday. Markets were also volatile in Asia.
Japan's Nikkei 225 average dropped more than 1,000 points, or 7%, through late-afternoon trading. The Bank of England — the U.K.'s central bank — said it was monitoring developments closely and "has undertaken extensive contingency planning."
‘No immediate change’ for Britons, EU citizens
Cameron said there will be “no immediate change in circumstances” for Britons in the EU and EU nationals in Britain. Around 3 million people from other EU countries live in the U.K., and around 1.2 million Britons live elsewhere in the EU.
One of the fundamental principles of the bloc is allowing the free movement of people and workers. Negotiations between the U.K. and the EU over the exit terms will take at least two years.
Emergency meetings called to deal with fallout
Emergency meetings were called around Europe Friday to deal with the fallout from the vote. “This result clearly has very significant implications for Ireland, as well as for Britain and for the European Union," a statement from the Irish government said ahead of an emergency cabinet meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected to make a statement following a meeting with lawmakers in Berlin.
The European Parliament called a special session Tuesday. However Janet Yellen, the chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said Wednesday, before the referendum, that she did not plan any special meetings to respond to the result.
Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard