Closed Brexit live: David Cameron resigns as UK votes out

MAS_Cameron_Grab

Vist the current political and market fallout live blog

The UK has voted to leave the EU after a bitter and divisive campaign.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign by the time of the Conservative party conference in October.

Boris Johnson has said that the British people “have spoken up for democracy”. The EU was “a noble idea for its time,” he said. “It is no longer
right for this country.”.

Financial markets across the world are down sharply. Sterling has plummeted and banking stocks are taking a heavy beating in early trading.

Bank of England govenor Mark Carney has said they “will not hesitate to take any additional measures” to ensure monetary and financial stability.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has she will begin to prepare the legislation for a new vote on Scottish independence

Key points

  • It is a Leave victory – see our interactive results page
  • Most of the country has turned against the EU with only London, Scotland and Northern Ireland delivering big wins for Remain.
  • Turnout was 72.%, with 16,141,241 cast in favour of Remain and 17,410,742 in favour of Leave
  • Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign and that the new PM should be the one to decide when to trigger Article 50.
  • The financial markets are in turmoil, sterling has fallen dramatically and volatility is hitting other major currencies. The Euro is suffering its worst day ever against the dollar. Banking stocks are particularly hard hit.
  • The Bank of England has said it will “take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability.” Both the BoE and the ECB has said it is ready to provide additional liquidity if needed
  • Leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have said informal negotiations will now start on the exit.
  • Nicola Sturgeon confirms preparations for a new Scottish independence referendum


Welcome back, for those that missed all our coverage earlier in the day here’s a link to that earlier blog.


As the FT’s legal writer David Allen Green reminds us, voters need only be in the queue by 10pm in order to make sure they are able to cast their ballots.

https://twitter.com/DavidAllenGreen/status/746071916188925953


The FT’s senior investment commentator observes:

https://twitter.com/johnauthers/status/746073772705341441


Hot off the (digital) press, here is the FT’s front page for tomorrow:

https://twitter.com/FT/status/746073199427858432


Just a reminder that there are no exit polls tonight. The FT’s Kiran Stacey, a former political correspondent now covering energy, is back moonlighting tonight and has this just filed us this explainer about the one survey that will come out just after the polls close at 10pm:

At 10pm, YouGov will put out the final poll of the campaign.

This is not an exit poll, which contacts a huge number of people as they leave the ballot box, and has in general elections usually proved more accurate than any other kind of survey.

Instead, YouGov has re-contacted around 4,000 people to whom it previously spoke for a Sunday Times poll.

In 2014 at the Scottish referendum, YouGov’s on-the-day poll proved very successful, getting within one percentage poll of the final result.

But at last year’s general election, the company’s on-the-day poll predicted a hung parliament, with the parties tied at 34 per cent each – very different from the Conservative majority we ended up seeing.

And if that’s not enough for you, here is a link to Prof John Curtice, one of the country’s top psephologists (if you Google the terms Prof Curtice’s name pops up second in suggested searches – at least on my browser), explaining to the BBC.


The FT’s commodities correspondent, Henry Sanderson, reports that the gold market is eerily calm as traders wait for results of the referendum.

Gold is holding just below $1,260 a troy ounce, as traders prepare for a surge in price if the UK decides to leave, or a possible drop as positions are unwound in the case of a vote to remain.

Gold is often seen as a safe haven asset during times of financial market turmoil.

David Govett, head of precious metals at London broker Marex Spectron, says he plans to be in the office all night as results come in.

Traders in China, the world’s largest gold consumer, have also been quiet, with the night-trading session in on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, which ends at 7:30 pm UK time, barely moving the price.

A vote to leave could bring a number of favourable factors to gold including a stronger dollar (the metal is priced in dollars,) a lower chance that the Fed will raise rates (which is bad for gold as it provides no interest,) as well as political uncertainty over the fate of the EU.

“A majority vote to exit the European Union would likely create years of uncertainly over the terms of the prospective divorce agreement – and uncertainty of this sort is always good for gold,” said Jeff Nichols, managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors.

Some analysts say a vote to remain has already been priced into the gold market, meaning the price of the metal is unlikely to fall too precipitously.


The one question that you probably want answered is when the final result will come. Alas we don’t precisely know at this point.

But: what we do have is a useful guide to the places which should point to the wider success of In and Out.

This isn’t a foolproof exercise as it is based on polling data from some time ago, but keep a close eye on the following 10 places.


Mole Valley. High Peak. North Hertfordshire. Knowsley. Anglesey (pictured). Slough. South Oxfordshire. Worcester. Rhondda. Portsmouth.

Here is a broader explainer from elections guru John Curtice.


Here are the latest betting odds from Ladbrokes: Leave now apparently has only a 14 per cent chance of victory. Bear in mind though that on the eve of last year’s general election the odds of a majority government looked similarly slim.

https://twitter.com/LadPolitics/status/746075164446699520


Over on FastFT, we report that the S&P 500 jumped more than 1 per cent on Thursday in the broad market barometer’s best day in a month, as investors cheered polls that hinted at a victory for ‘remain’ in today’s EU referendum.

The gains on the day, which brought the S&P 500 within less than 1 per cent of its all-time closing high notched last May, were led by economically-sensitive sectors.

Financials performed best, followed by materials, energy and technology. Meanwhile, defensives that are favoured for their dividends and tend to perform well in times of uncertainty, fared worst, with utilities and consumer staples lagging behind.


Henry Mance, the FT’s political correspondent is at the Leave.EU party at London’s Millbank Tower. Leave.EU is the campaign group supported by Ukip leader Nigel Farage. This is his first report:

“Win or lose the EU will never be the same again,” said the invite. Leave.EU had to cancel a Brexit pop concert during the campaign; some of the (not very famous) acts are due to perform tonight. The sparkling wine is already flowing; Mr Farage is due to show up at about 11pm.


Here are some insights from John Authers, senior investment commentator:

All major markets are now closed around the world, for a brief window before the polls close in the UK. What is priced in? Probably, it is fair to say, somewhere upwards of a 90 per cent chance that Remain wins.

Sterling, the most obviously affected assets, has pegged back only slightly from its high from the day, at which it had rallied by 6.67 per cent against the dollar in only a week – a remarkable rally. At just below $1.50, it is very close to estimates to purchasing power parity (as close as the foreign exchange market gets to a “fair value”).

As it is a popular call among FX analysts that a Leave vote would bring sterling down at least as far as $1.20 in short order (which would be a 31-year low), this bespeaks intense confidence in a Remain victory.

As for stocks, the FTSE-Eurofirst 300 index closed the day at its highest price/earnings ratio since the crisis, at roughly 28. This is partly because the latest earnings data was particularly bad, but still such a valuation would not be possible if traders wanted to price in a significant risk of an imminent British exit from the EU.

As for the US, where the referendum is also dominating conversation, the S&P 500 had a strong day to close needing to rally only by another 0.8 per cent to top the all-time high it set in May last year.

The degree of confidence in markets can be overstated. Bank stocks, which stand to be most affected by the referendum result, remain depressed, even if eurozone bank shares have gained 17 per cent in the last week.

And bond yields remain historically low, even if the sharp rise in yields over the last week shows returning confidence. German 10-year bunds now yield 0.093 per cent, which is startlingly low, but still shows a sharp rebound in confidence after last week’s historic negative yields.

The market positioning is clear, and at this point a Leave vote could trigger a remarkable day of trading on Friday.

If that were to happen, the embarrassment for bookies (putting the odds on a Remain at 8/1 on) and prediction markets would approach the humiliation suffered by pollsters at last year’s UK general election.


Here’s a good way to spend two minutes if you’re waiting for 10pm and the outcome of YouGov’s final poll. The FT’s potted history of the EU:


We have our first firm report of turnout, and it’s high.

The Press Association reports that turnout in Gibraltar – the British enclave ceded by Spain at the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 – was 83.65 per cent.

Polls have already closed there as it is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.


Just four minutes now until polls close, although anyone who is in the queue at that time will still be able to vote.


Right the polls have closed. We are waiting on YouGov, which will put out the final poll of the campaign.

This is not an exit poll, which contacts a huge number of people as they leave the ballot box, and has in general elections usually proved more accurate than any other kind of survey.

Instead, YouGov has re-contacted around 4,000 people to whom it previously spoke for a Sunday Times poll.

In 2014 at the Scottish referendum, YouGov’s on-the-day poll proved very successful, getting within one percentage poll of the final result.

But at last year’s general election, the company’s on-the-day poll predicted a hung parliament, with the parties tied at 34 per cent each – very different from the Conservative majority we ended up seeing.


Emoticon “Looks like Remain will edge it,” Nigel Farage tells Sky News, citing high turnout. But “Ukip is going nowhere.”


It appears that Leave.EU, the campaign group supported by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, has conducted its own polling, according to Sky, which is the reason behind Mr Farage’s statement just after polls closed.


We have been waiting for hours for this and…drum roll…YouGov says it expects a Remain vote, 52:48.

But bear in mind that this is a much smaller poll than the typical “exit polls” that you get at general election time. “Still too early to know definitely,” says Joe Twyman of YouGov.


Further to Mark’s post about Leave.EU, I’m told by Henry Mance – who is at the Ukip party – that Arron Banks, the Ukip donor, has polled 10,000 people in the last two days. He says it is very, very close.

In fact, the plot thickens.

Apparently the Leave.EU poll puts LEAVE ahead by 52:48. In which case, it’s hard to explain Farage’s apparently gloomy mood.

Maybe if the polling was done a few days ago they are taking into account the likelihood that wavering voters may veer towards the status quo when they enter the polling booth.

Or, and this wouldn’t be too surprising: is Farage indulging in some expectations management?


Sterling has hit a new high for the year. Here’s the take of our colleagues on FastFt


Here’s a beautiful picture by FT photographer Charlie Bibby from the Leave.EU party on Millbank Tower in Westminster.


I rather like this observation about Britain’s first-past-the-post system, which the public voted to keep in a 2011 referendum on electoral reform.

https://twitter.com/PrimlyStable/status/746088753240899585


The FT’s news editor, Peter Spiegel, got a steer from one of his sources a little earlier, based on private exit polling by hedge funds and banks earlier in the day. Read our story from the end of May here

https://twitter.com/SpiegelPeter/status/746087523210956800


Iain Duncan Smith, the eurosceptic former work and pensions secretary, has given a conciliatory interview to the BBC, sounding as if he, like Nigel Farage, thinks Remain may have edged it.

Asked about the Chancellor’s proposed emergency Budget, which George Osborne has said would follow a vote to leave the EU, Mr Duncan Smith says he thinks “that may be gone”.

He says he won’t be calling for the prime minister’s resignation. “The PM has a mandate and we want him to continue.”

And he says he doesn’t remember calling Mr Osborne “Pinocchio”…


Here is a breakdown of the YouGov final poll, which tells us a few interesting things.

One is that even people voting Out don’t really think it will happen. Only 19 per cent of the sample expect Brexit to happen.

Another is that only 1 per cent of people based their vote on what politicians told them – reflecting the widespread anti-establishment outlook out there right now.


Oil markets firmed on the YouGov poll, with Brent, the international benchmark, briefly rising above $51 a barrel to a two week high.

Traders had feared that a leave vote would trigger a sharp sell-off, taking Brent to $45 a barrel. A vote to remain is expected to trigger a modest “relief rally” said Amrita Sen at consultants Energy Aspects.

With positive implications for economic activity in the UK and Europe, “once the fear of Brexit is removed from the market, sentiment about Eurozone growt the actual growth momentum could strenthen,” she said.


Robert Syms, the Tory MP for Poole, has just Tweeted a photo of the original letter, that Sky News has been reading from, signed by 84 Conservative MPs, two-thirds of whom publicly supported the Vote Leave campaign. Mr Syms’s reference to pencils is a nod to the furore by Leave supporters earlier the day who were urging their supporters to use pens instead of the pencils supplied by polling stations, in case the ballot papers were doctored later.

https://twitter.com/robertsymsmp/status/746088918412570625


Sterling surged to a new high for the year after polling stations closed, reports the FT’s markets editor Michael Mackenzie. It touched $1.4988 after polling ended and the global foreign exchange trading day flipped over to Friday.

“With polling offices now closed, the market assumes that the vote will be a clear win for “Remain” judging by the day and week high levels at which cable has reached (1.4890),” said Koon Chow, macroeconomics and foreign exchange strategist at UBP.

Gold prices, at the lows, corroborate strong expectations for a market-friendly result even though the very last opinion polls showed only a small lead by “Remain” camp. ‎”

Once votes are counted and results released across the UK during the early hours of Friday, currencies including the pound, yen, euro and the US dollar along with gold, a customary haven, are expected to be the focus of investor reaction. Gold touched a two-week low on Thursday and was off 0.4 per cent to $1,261.02 an ounce late in New York.

Oil markets firmed on the YouGov poll, with Brent, the international benchmark, briefly rising above $51 a barrel to a two week high.

Traders had feared that a leave vote would trigger a sharp sell-off, taking Brent to $45 a barrel. A vote to remain is expected to trigger a modest “relief rally” said Amrita Sen at consultants Energy Aspects.


Not sure how many of the traders in the City of London working through the night, will be buying the Daily Mail tomorrow morning. Here’s a Tweet from Nick Sutton, the BBC News editor for News and Mobile:

https://twitter.com/suttonnick/status/746090745560440835


More from our political correspondent Kate Allen on the “loyalty letter” from eurosceptic Conservative MPs pictured below (at 10.28pm).

A majority of eurosceptic Tory MPs have written to Downing Street expressing support for the prime minister to remain in his job, in a move that looks set to kill off any early challenge to his leadership.

84 MPs that supported the Vote Leave campaign sent the letter to Downing St. The signatories include Leader of the House Chris Grayling, justice secretary Michael Gove and former London mayor Boris Johnson.

The letter, organised by backbencher Robert Syms, had been circulating among Tory MPs for a couple of weeks.

It expresses full support for Mr Cameron to remain as prime minister whatever the outcome of the referendum.

Around 60 eurosceptic Tory MPs have not signed the letter – enough to trigger a vote of confidence in Mr Cameron’s leadership – but the expression of unity effectively negates any chance of them winning such a vote.


A dispatch from speedy Sunderland from the FT’s Chris Tighe:

The atmosphere at the Sunderland count is calm but highly focused as the city’s formidable electoral system revs into top gear.

Accuracy is key, so there is no air of panic, but Sunderland has a reputation for speed to maintain.

A team of local sixth formers, all kitted out in white Sunderland City Council T-shirts, are running into the centre with large black boxes full of ballot papers from each of the city’s polling stations.There is a moderate hubbub coming from the counting floor but the russle of ballot papers is audible too.


The FT’s digital comment editor, Seb Payne, has just posted this video on Twitter of an interview with Aaron Banks, Ukip’s biggest donor, who has paid for private polling of 10,000 people in the last few days:

https://twitter.com/sebastianepayne/status/746094622380793856


And now Britain’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, has issued its front page. We aren’t sure what the pun is, or even if there is one, although some colleagues think it could be an adaption of “sex mad”. Who knows.


EmoticonIpsos-Mori’s final poll, carried out on Wednesday and Thursday, shows Remain on 54 per cent and Leave on 46 per cent, according to the company’s chief executive, Ben Page.

https://twitter.com/benatipsosmori/status/746092253228183552


Sterling has motored above $1.50, says our markets editor, Michael Mackenzie:

This key psychological level has been in the market’s sights all day as traders have gained in confidence that a Remain vote will prevail.

As Asia wakes up and the start of the global F/X trading day is beefed up by the presence of London based traders burning the midnight oil, currencies are firmly in the spotlight.

The pound is up 0.9 per cent to $1.5015. The yen, a barometer of risk appetite is weakening anew toward Y106.55, while the euro is also strengthening, up 0,3 per cent to $1.1418 versus the dollar. Sterling has gained 0.5 per cent to the euro, at £0.7611.


When you dig into the polling data ahead of the referendum you can see that the result is very finely balanced in Cheshire East – home to Tatton, the constituency of George Osborne. It will be interesting to see how his voters jump, given that the chancellor has put his reputation on the line by coming out so strongly for the Remain camp.

It will also be worth paying attention to Epsom and Ewell, another key swing area reporting later tonight. That is home to Mole Valley, the constituency of Chris Grayling, leader of the Commons – and a key figure in the Out camp.


Our New York news operation just flagged this rather “diplomatic” Tweet from the French ambassador to Washington – we think what he is trying to say is plus ça change:

https://twitter.com/GerardAraud/status/746095026002866176


In further news, Ukip’s Nigel Farage – who earlier said Remain appeared to have “edged it” – has un-conceded, the BBC reported, but then re-conceded, according to Huffington Post.

Fond memories of Mr Farage’s resignation and unresignation following the last General Election.


Ain’t no party like a Leave.EU party. Here’s an insight into the atmosphere on the dancefloor at Millbank Tower, via our colleague Seb Payne.

https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/746101146960465920


Labour has helpfully given us a list of 55 Outer Tory MPs whose names have not appeared on the letter pledging loyalty to David Cameron. On the face of it that may look rather ominous. But Iain Duncan Smith, who is on that list, says he was not given a chance to sign it – others may follow suit.

UPDATE: Justin Tomlinson and Stephen Metcalfe have signed the letter, taking the figure down to 52.


Chris Grayling, the justice minister and one of the lead Leave campaigners, is on the BBC talking up how united the Conservative Party is after a very divisive campaign. But he says it is “far too early” to concede, after Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, sowed quite a bit of confusion by appearing to concede defeat before changing his mind at least three times.

We think Mr Farage has not conceded as it stands . . . the FT’s Seb Payne has this from big Ukip backer Aaron Banks on Mr Farage’s flick-flacking:

“It’s a bit early for that” he tells me on the conceding/unconceding/conceding


More news on high turnout. Sunderland reports that ballots were cast by 78 per cent of those who requested a postal vote there – who made up 42 per cent of the electorate.

The city council said this is one of the highest responses on record for Sunderland, generally one of the quickest areas to count its votes, reports the FT’s Chris Tighe.


It isn’t just London traders working longer hours to cover the UK vote – many of their Asian counterparts are in early too, reports Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong.

Sydney’s dealing rooms have a nine hour timezone advantage, meaning they are getting up and running as UK polls close, but some banks in Singapore, the region’s biggest foreign exchange hub, were aiming to have people in by 5am local to match that. UBS was one of those, and it has IT standing by to support higher volumes too.

Most have warned forex clients that market pricing could be more difficult

“Spreads may differ significantly from normal conditions, and response times for price requests may be delayed,” ANZ wrote to clients this week.

Oanda, the online brokerage, has raised margins to reduce its clients’ leverage and warned them about the volatility.

Sterling isn’t very liquid in Asian markets, raising the risk of “gap traps” – the rare times when consecutive buy and sell offers do not overlap, which increases price swings.

“We have to be cognisant that we may see these overreactions because of illiquidity,” said Mr Innes, who thinks sterling could test $1.35 on an “Out” vote or rally as far as $1.60 against the dollar if the Remain camp wins.

“Whether that move would sustainable or just knee-jerk is yet to be decided,” he added.

Photo: AP/Kin Cheung


Douglas Carswell, Ukip’s only MP, has told the BBC he thinks Leave has done “perhaps not quite enough” to close the gap with Remain, reports the FT’s Kiran Stacey.

But he is not quite calling it yet – he added: “Let’s see what the result is. I think it is going to be neck-and-neck.”


We are streaming live 360-degree video from the Leave.EU polling day party at Millbank Tower in London, as supporters wait for the arrival of Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Use your mouse to move around the room:


As expected, trading in currencies is extremely choppy and sterling has slipped lower after a foray above $1.50, reports Michael Mackenzie, our markets editor.

Liquidity is ”surprisingly not bad” says Stephen Innes, senior trader at Oanda in Singapore.

He says the market is braced for swings as news unfolds during the night and the $1.50/$1.51 level looms as ”decent resistance at least initially” for the pound. ”The $1.50/$1.51 level is a line in the sand for a lot of people.”


Some of the counts have just held a minute’s silence to remember Labour MP, Jo Cox, who was fatally stabbed and shot last week.


Just a reminder on what to expect tonight, since despite all the conceding and un-conceding, we haven’t actually received any referendum results yet.

The first results are due from Gilbraltar and the Scilly Isles around midnight, followed by Sunderland a bit later; experts say the overall result may be clear around 3.30am, while late counts will arrive from Bristol and Harborough at 6am and 7am respectively.

The full timetable is set out in our piece here.


Emoticon First result is coming in from Gibraltar:

Remain – 19,332
Leave – 823


Just to put it the first result into context, Gibraltar was always expected to be rock solid for the Remain camp. The polls in Gibraltar closed an hour earlier and it appears the result in favour of Remain at 95.9% is higher than the opinion polls in the territory, which was expecting a 93% to 94% vote backing Remain


The front page of our latest edition is out, splashing on the Tory MPs’ “loyalty letter”:

https://twitter.com/FT/status/746111543998291969


Here’s the latest from Roger Blitz, our currencies correspondent:

Dominic Bunning, at HSBC, said sterling should remained supported at around $1.50 if the latest opinion polls were firmed up as the night went on.

But Adam Cole at RBC Capital Markets, is treating the market’s confidence with caution.

“It looks like the market is close to 90 per cent priced for a Remain vote, with the last lurch up being on the YouGov poll as the polls closed,” he sad.

“I would not put that much weight on that poll – the sample is only 5,000 and the margin of 4 percentage points is not large enough to have any confidence. I think we still have to wait for a meaningful number of declarations and things could still be very volatile as they start coming in.”

Daniel Been at ANZ said Friday’s Asian session had so far seen liquidity conditions “broadly as expected” and helped by the polls pointing to Remain – “a position that the market had already been gravitating to over the past few trading sessions”.

Liquidity, he said “remains OK in pockets, but overall it is thinner than yesterday and markets remain very vulnerable to any surprises”.


Nigel Farage has spoken at the Leave.EU party. “It’s been a long campaign. In my case 25 years,” he jokes, report Henry Mance and Kiran Stacey.

He doesn’t concede the referendum – but says that the 48 hour extension in voter registration may have tipped the balance.

However, he adds that even if Remain has won this battle, the Leavers are winning the war. “The eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle, and it will now not be put back.”

More from Farage:

“Whatever happens tonight, whoever wins this battle, one thing I am completely certain of is we are winning the war.

“Tonight, maybe just under half, maybe just over half of the country is going to vote for us to leave the European Union.

“The eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle, and it will now not be put back. I hope and pray that my sense of this tonight is wrong. My sense of this – and this is not a concession – is that the government’s registration scheme…. maybe has tipped the balance. I hope I’m wrong, I hope I’m made a fool of.

“The landscape of British politics of the course of the last few weeks has changed and it has changed forever.

“We will get our country back, we will get our independence back and we will get our borders back.”

Here’s the video:

https://twitter.com/sebastianepayne/status/746111846084653056


A poll from research company Opinium has the Leave side ahead by one percentage point with nine per cent of the population not yet decided. There is some confusion over when the survey was carried out.

https://twitter.com/OpiniumResearch/status/746113922453868545

UPDATE: Opinium have told the FT the poll was carried out between 20 and 22 June.


Emoticon Newcastle result is coming in

Remain – 65,504
Leave – 63,598

Turnout was 68%

We’re just checking the maths on the “expected” results as predicted by some pollster but it was meant to be higher for Remain


The potential relevance of Newcastle upon Tyne is that we had expected a decent lead – perhaps 12 points – for the In camp.

Instead it was very close at 49.3 per cent to 50.7 per cent. It would be an error to read too much into a single result, but there will be jitters on the Remain side right now.


Our colleagues on fastFT note that sterling has given up most of its earlier gains against the dollar — following reports that the Newcastle upon Tyne result would be close.


From the FT’s Charlie Bibby, an image of Nigel Farage speaking a little earlier:


Betting odds are narrowing on Leave following that Newcastle result:

https://twitter.com/Betfair/status/746116918193627137


The Orkney result, that came in a few minutes ago, was 63 per cent in favour of Remain, which is 5 percentage points better than expected. So the picture is really mixed although Orkney is very small returning 7,189 in favour of Remain versus 4,193 for Leave


Emoticon The Sunderland result is just in and Leave has scored a big victory:

Leave 82,394
Remain 51,930
Turnout was 67.2%


On a cumulative basis this puts Leave on 50.5% and 49.5% for Remain


From our colleagues on FastFT: Sunderland, we have a problem.

The massive result in favour of leaving the EU has hammered the pound. Having hit $1.50 earlier, it’s now down at $1.4348.


This is the reaction to the Sunderland result at the Leave.EU party in Westminster.

https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/746120977889787904


From our colleague Chris Tighe in Sunderland, whose pro-Leave result has just shocked currency markets:

In Sunderland, 61.3 per cent of voters have voted to leave the EU despite their city’s heavy dependence on inward investors, most notably carmaker Nissan, for employment.

In a 64.9 per cent turnout, 82,394 people voted to leave the EU and 51,930 to remain.

Sunderland has rebuilt its manufacturing base since the 1970s largely on inward investment; the Nissan plant is the UK’s largest car producer.

Nissan exports 55 per cent of its Sunderland output to EU countries – around 250,000 Sunderland-made cars in 2015. The city is home to more than 80 overseas-owned companies employing 25,600 people.

In voting to leave by such a resounding margin, Sunderland’s voters have dismissed warnings by politicians and business leaders that a Brexit could put jobs at risk. Nissan itself voiced a preference for the UK to stay in Europe. “It makes most sense for jobs, trade and cost,” Nissan chairman and chief executive Carlos Ghosn said earlier this year.

The reasons for Sunderland’s Leave vote include protests against austerity and cuts, and a suspicion that a political and business elite have been scaremongering as well as unease at how the UK is changing.

The Leave momentum is not all about older people. Katy Brook, a 20-year-old Sunderland university student, who is from the city, said she, and her family had voted Leave. “Europe needs us more than we need them,” she said.


And this is the chart of the Sunderland result:


More from our colleague Chris Tighe in Sunderland, whose pro-Leave result has just shocked currency markets:

In Sunderland, 61.3 per cent of voters have voted to leave the EU despite their city’s heavy dependence on inward investors, most notably carmaker Nissan, for employment.

In a 64.9 per cent turnout, 82,394 people voted to leave the EU and 51,930 to remain.

Sunderland has rebuilt its manufacturing base since the 1970s largely on inward investment; the Nissan plant is the UK’s largest car producer, employing 6,700 people.

Nissan exports 55 per cent of its Sunderland output to EU countries – around 250,000 Sunderland-made cars in 2015. The city is home to more than 80 overseas-owned companies employing 25,600 people.

In voting to leave by such a resounding margin, Sunderland’s voters dismissed warnings by politicians and business leaders that a Brexit could put jobs at risk. Nissan itself voiced a preference for the UK to stay in Europe.

The reasons for Sunderland’s Leave vote include protests against austerity and cuts and a suspicion that a political and business elite have been scaremongering, as well as unease at how the UK is changing, including immigration.

The Leave momentum is not all about older people. Katy Brook, a 20-year-old Sunderland university student, who is from the city, said she, and her family had voted Leave. “Europe needs us more than we need them,” she said.


A Labour source says they think that with turnout high, the divergence between Leave and Remain areas is higher than expected, reports Kiran Stacey.

Those expected to go Leave have done so in greater numbers, but the same is also true of predicted Remain areas, the person says.


The results so far have been surprisingly strong for Leave, but it’s worth waiting to see the result from some of the most marginal places. As Kiran said earlier, the rumour is that both In and Out areas have polarised to a greater degree than expected. Key “marginals” are likely to include…

North Hertfordshire at 1.30am
High Peak at 2.30am
Portsmouth at 3.30am
Mole Valley at 4am
South Oxfordshire at 4.30am


A reader, Friendly Yank, asks:

Are the mail in votes counted with today’s voters or separately tabulated?

Our reporter Kiran Stacey says:

Postal votes are included in the final counts that are being announced.


Vote Leave supporters in London celebrate the Sunderland result, from Charlie Bibby:


Here’s a chart of the position nationally as it stands after just 5 out of 382 result so far:


Whatever the result, this feels like the defining moment in a major cultural split in the UK. It looks like voting in London could be stronger for In than previously expected.

https://twitter.com/bbclaurak/status/746126401854705664


Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan East and a Remainer, says she cannot predict the result, reports the FT’s Andrew Bounds:

At the national count in Manchester, she warns that the country has been deeply divided.

“Families and neighbours have been divided by this debate. Whatever the result there is a big job to do to heal the rift.”

She said many traditional Labour voters felt “left behind” by globalisation, which had eroded their standard of living. They had also suffered austerity and many had ignored Labour pleas to vote remain.

“If David Cameron wins this referendum it will be because people like that have come out and voted to remain. He owes it to them to help them, to stop the cuts.”


Here is Jeremy Corbyn’s brother saying he hopes that the Labour leader will lead post-Brexit negotiations.

https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/status/746126905997410304


The FT’s Tokyo correspondent, Leo Lewis, was on the phone to the head of one of Tokyo’s largest FX trading desks when the Sunderland result came in.

“Something very bad has happened…”, he said, before immediately hanging up.

More from our Asian team:

The word from the Tokyo trading floors on that massive spike against the dollar, euro and sterling – all of which took place over the space of a few seconds – is that “a sense of chill has just replaced a sense of confidence that we had 30 mins ago”​.

Although there are no reports of liquidity problems, trading volume appears to be very light – the movements are pretty clearly being driven in Tokyo by small scale FX speculators (“Mrs Watanabe and her day trading son”, said one Tokyo trader). Desks are saying that they expected a lot of volatility from those investors anyway, but nothing like this.

The yen at that point surged almost Y3, pushing the dollar back to Y103.61 from Y105.98 – an almost unheard-of move in such a short time.


From my colleague Nicole Bullock in New York:

“It looks like noon here,” said a person on the FX trading floor at a large New York-based high frequency trader around 7:30 pm ET, in reference to the number of traders on the floor and the mood.


The betting market has been all over the place over the past couple of hours, with swings similar in magnitude to those seen in sterling.

Odds on a Leave win via Betfair have risen sharply to 35%, having been as low as under 10% when polls closed. You can get the latest odds here.


Apparent comfort for the Remain camp from the Isles of Scilly: but the numbers are too tiny to make much difference: at 803 to 621.


EmoticonSwindon is declaring and the result is in favour of Leave as expected:

Leave: 61,745
Remain: 51,220
turnout is 75.8%

My colleague Jim Pickard has just checked his spreadsheet and we had expected a 15 point lead for Leave and in reality it is a 10 point lead.


Broxbourne in Hertfordshire has voted 66% in favour of OUT, which is higher than expected for the Leave campaign


Andrew Bounds, the FT’s North of England correspondent, has this from Andy Burnham, the Labour MP and shadow home secretary:

Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, said he expected similar votes to Sunderland across the north. “I want to say to those Labour supporters who voted to leave that I understand what they are saying and what they are worried about. The political class has not been listening to their concerns about immigration. There needs to be a review of how freedom of movement works.” It may have come too late for his party. He also said Labour had run a distinctive campaign but been drowned out by the Conservative infighting


From our markets editor, Michael Mackenzie:

It’s not just a big night for sterling. Japan’s yen, a barometer of risk aversion is also setting a torrid pace, up 3.2 per cent against sterling as traders’ early optimism of a Remain outcome has been shaken.

The yen’s gain of 1.1 per cent versus the dollar to Y104.96 will also attract the attention of officials – they don’t want to see a firmer yen and the prospect of currency intervention is in Tokyo morning air.


John Curtice, one of the country’s top psephologists, has just told the BBC that turnout in London is lower than expected, which would be a blow for the Remain camp, which is expecting the capital to strongly back staying in the EU.

It may be that the bad weather… has knocked 2 or 3 points off the turnout there.

The weather did cause havoc across London, with flooding causing widespread disruption to public transport.

© Reuters


Oh good. From the FT’s Nicole Bullock in New York:

“This is just an appetizer,” said Giovanni Pillitteri, global head of foreign exchange trading at GTS, an electronic market maker. “If the vote remains so split, [the pound] is going to be even more volatile.”


I should point out that we are not going to report every single declaration but as it stands we have had 11 results so far, with Leave holding a narrow lead on 321,339 to 314,521 for Remain.


The Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post just Tweeted:

https://twitter.com/LovedayM/status/746134363738378241


The FT’s Leo Lewis reports that hedge funds have been making their presence felt in currency markets, according to a senior Nomura strategist:

Nearly an hour after that huge move in sterling and the yen’s surge to a two-year high in the space of a few seconds, the FX crosses have settled very slightly – long enough for Nomura’s head of FX strategy, Yunosuke Ikeda, to tell us that hedge funds have definitely made their mark on trading this morning.

Japanese retail is certainly in there giving the market direction, but the hedge fund speculators – mostly based in London – are causing these huge swings as the market takes in the impact of the “leave” camp doing better than expected on these early results, said Mr Ikeda.


Market volatility is not just confined to sterling and the currency market, reports Michael Mackenzie: FTSE 100 futures are down 1.9 per cent in early trade as results from Sunderland and Swindon have triggered notable risk aversion. S&P 500 futures are off 0.5 per cent.


Marcus Roberts, director of international projects at YouGov, has just dropped by our offices in Southwark.

His take on it is that the urban middle classes were too slow to see the signals of disaffection about the EU in the regions.

“There was the Ukip rise, the local and European election results, these were a long-awaited wake-up call,” he says. “The gap between the metropolitan, cosmopolitan, middle class voters and working class social conservatives has now grown so great that it simply cannot be ignored.”


After 12 results in so far, this is the lead for Leave but as the results are coming in quickly this changes fast and our figures are different to the broadcasters as we are using the PA feed


Here’s the yen leaping around:


Roger Blitz, the FT’s currency correspondent, reports:

A narrow Leave victory could prove “a record-breaker” for sterling, said Simon Derrick, FX strategist at BNY Mellon, as sterling’s dramatic fall in the wake of the Sunderland result demonstrated.

“Beyond GBP, we need to start thinking about how nations such as Switzerland and Japan will react should save haven flows begin to head their way,” he said.

Mr Derrick suggested the market had failed to scrutinise the betting markets on the referendum.

“Some may now also be recalling the comment from William Hill that ‘while 75% of the total money bet at William Hill had gone on Remain, in terms of the actual numbers of bets made it’s the other way round: 75% of bets on Leave and 25% on Remain,’” he said.


Japanese stocks edged higher on Friday morning, reports Leo Lewis:

Japanese stocks have so far opted to ignore the spectacular moves that in the yen that preceded the opening bell and have left trading floors far more nervous over the referendum result than they expected to be last night.

The benchmark Topix index, which has tended to move in tandem with the dollar-yen exchange rate, climbed 0.62 per cent in the first 15 minutes of trading.


Polls from Sunderland showing voters favoured leaving the European Union prompted some huge moves in currency markets, with the British pound experiencing one of its biggest intraday swings on record.

Those poll results saw sterling drop as much as 3.9 per cent against the US dollar to a session low of $1.4295, writes Peter Wells. Previously, it had been as much as 1 per cent higher at $1.5018, the first time above $1.50 since December 17.

That equates to an intraday range of 4.9 per cent, trailing only October 24 2008 and Black Wednesday in 1992, according to FT analysis of intraday Bloomberg data going back to 1989.

Overnight volatility in the pound rose to a record high as polls opened on Thursday.

Simon Derrick at BNY Mellon says a narrow Leave victory could prove “a record-breaker” for sterling, adding:

Beyond sterling, we need to start thinking about how nations such as Switzerland and Japan will react should save haven flows begin to head their way.


Our latest totals, with a very long way still to go:


Our chief investment commentator, John Authers, on the wild swings in currency markets:

The inquest has already started on how the foreign exchange market managed to make such an overconfident bet on a Remain vote. Whatever the outcome, that already appears now to have been badly unjustified.

A technical explanation is that macro hedge fund managers have had a bad year so far, and may have been desperate to jump the gun, rather than let someone else reap the profits when a Remain victory was announced. If Leave does indeed triumph, that implies an elevated risk of a financial accident in the days that come as people try to unwind positions.

Another way to look at this is in terms of the “narrative fallacy”. Several different factors cohered last Thursday. Betting markets, watched ever more closely and with a lot of money behind them, reached a peak of belief in a Leave vote (although they never put the chance of Leave above 50 per cent, despite a lead for Leave in many polls). At this point they were ready to turn.

At the same time, currency markets reached a psychological or technical barrier – $1.40 to the pound. This levels has only been breached a handful of times, and only ever very briefly, since the Plaza Accord in 1985. Traders had to ask themselves whether they were prepared to take sterling lower.

Finally there was the awful tragic news of the murder of Jo Cox. This looked at the time like a turning point. Traders may have been too keen to treat it as such, and so the rush was on to put money on an ultimate Remain vote. It fit a convenient narrative that many could believe. And so the bet was on.

As it stands, even if Remain emerges triumphant, this referendum looks like a reversal of the last national UK vote. Then, there was embarrassment for pollsters, and relative success for bookies and prediction markets. This time the polls, which continued to show a very tight race, are looking much smarter than the betting and currency markets, which allowed themselves to overshoot.


Full disclosure – there is a discrepancy between our totals on the interactive results page and those of the broadcasters – the BBC and Sky. Our data gurus have double and triple-checked our numbers and believe the only explanation is the way we are taking the results feeds into our models.

For example, there have been some individual results in from Northern Ireland but as it is only one of the 382 reporting authorities, our model will not include those numbers until the full declaration is made, which is expected around 4am.

We hope this doesn’t lead to any confusion.


No big surprise in the first London result, with the City of London voting comprehensively for Remain, 75% to 25%.

But the IN camp won’t be getting very excited as it only adds 3,312 votes to their total (vs 1,087 for Leave). As it stands the BBC is reporting that Leave has a
lead of 53 per cent after 30 results, and has just topped a million votes (1,038,777 to be exact).


Shetland and the Western Isles have backed Remain, 41 years after being the only two electoral districts in the UK to vote against membership of the then European Economic Community, reports Mure Dickie.

Shetland voted to stay in the EU by 57 per cent to 43 and the Western Isles by 55 per cent to 45. The results in Scotland’s most northerly and westerly archipelagos highlighted shifting attitudes to Europe among Scots voters since the 1975 referendum.

Since that vote Scotland has gone from relatively Eurosceptic compared with England to more enthusiastic about EU membership. The leaders of all the parties in the Scottish parliament opposed Brexit and the Scottish National party, which opposed European membership in 1975, has become an enthusiastic champion of staying in.

The Shetland result drew surprise praise on Twitter from US actress and singer Lindsay Lohan.

https://twitter.com/lindsaylohan/status/746135230512234496


Predicting elections is a tough business for pollsters, who have to stick their neck out on the eve of a vote. Here is Peter Kellner, formerly of YouGov, adjusting his own expectations:

https://twitter.com/PeterKellner1/status/746142675091480577


Chris Hanretty, a political scientist at the University of East Anglia, has the probability of Britain remaining in the EU at about a third given the results declared so far.

https://twitter.com/chrishanretty/status/746142668435132416


Emoticon Betting markets have switched dramatically in the last few minutes – now favour a Leave result. Latest odds from Betfair here.


Sir Vince Cable, the former business secretary, says: “It does look increasingly as if Leave are ahead, and we should perhaps begin to think about the political and economic implications of that.”

He puts the apparent Leave swing down to “people in highly deprived areas of the northeast expressing their frustration”.

David Cameron would have to leave immediately if it is a Leave vote because his “authority is completely gone”, Mr Cable argues.


Sterling is getting clobbered all over the FX shop, reports Roger Blitz.

Hong Kong’s opening has driven the pound 7.7 per cent lower against the yen, and more than 3 per cent down on the euro.

Against the dollar, the pound hit $1.4040. It is gyrating in a big way. In no time, it has picked up to $1.42.


As our colleagues over on FastFT put it: Oof.


Exeter, Oxford and the London borough of Lambeth have just boosted the Remain camp and narrowed the lead for Leave to 22,607 after 49 results so far. As it stands, according to the BBC, Leave is on 50.3% on a turnout of 70%


Emoticon Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, has reported:

Remain 168,335
Leave 84,474

This result has pushed Remain into a lead of 52,787 or 50.7% with a total of 1,808,139.

But turnout was relatively low at 56%.


One thing that is fascinating about this vote is that it proves how the public were not prepared to listen to their “leaders” – from politics, business and the unions.

Take Scotland, where apparently 40 per cent of voters are backing the Out camp. That is despite every single political leader (bar Ukip) supporting the IN side north of the border.

When it comes to the EU, there is a tide of resentment against unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Only now, however, has the sheer scale of it become visible.


This message from Henry Mance at the Ukip party:

Leave.EU supporters just cheered a chart of the falling pound shown on TV – evidently seeing it as a sign that they are on course for victory.


Emoticon The London borough of Wandsworth has just voted 75% to 25% for Remain with a turnout of 71.9 per cent. This adds 118,463 the IN total with Leave collecting 39,421


Here is the FT totaliser as it stands:


As it stands I think we can all agree the UK is doing a very good impression of Freddy Nock of Switzerland taking part in a competition in China earlier this year:


There have been some joyful moments over at the Brexiteers’ party. From our photographer Charlie Bibby:


Emoticon Nuneaton in the Midlands, which was meant to deliver a small majority for Leave, has delivered a result that was twice as good for the OUT camp as our projections had suggested.

Leave – 46,140
Remain – 23,736


From Miles Johnson, our global investment editor:

A hedge fund manager managing several billion dollars said that his staff were estimating at least $6bn had been traded across the sterling-dollar currency cross.

This showed, he said, that there was real money being put to work, and significant volume behind the moves in the pound.


“Honestly this suspense is killing me,” writes the FT reader Six Past Twelve in the comments over on the right. They’re not the only one.

Some other thoughts pulled in from commenters:

“This is the birth of the London Independence Party,” says montecristo

“I’d lose a lot of money if we brexit, but I understand the reasons for brexit more than I do for remain,” says londoner12345

CharlesPonzi quotes GK Chesterton:”How anybody can see such lunacy dancing in high places, in the broad daylight of political responsibility, and have any further doubt about the sort danger that threatens the world, is more than I can understand.”

“Any vote becomes something of an anti-incumbency vote for those who are getting the short end of the stick”, says hb

Noustradamus, a German-speaking commenter, is already bidding England goodbye: “Auf Wiedersehen kleines England.” (Goodbye little England.)


Liverpool has voted in favour of Remain along with the London borough of Islington – that is a lot of votes into the Remain pot.

Islington voted 75,420 in favour of Remain vs 25,180 for Leave, while Liverpool delivered 118,453 votes for the IN camp, against 85,101 for Leave. As it stands Leave has a lead of 44,597 or 50.3% according to the BBC.


Vote Leave source tells us that if they lose London at the current rate, it’s a total of 150,000 fewer votes in the capital than anticipated. “Not fatal by any means when we are smashing it everywhere else…things are looking pretty good.”


The BBC’s Julia Macfarlane has just Tweeted the Times front page:

https://twitter.com/juliamacfarlane/status/746160743775674368


So at just after 3am – this is what the FT’s totaliser looks like:


Our Asia editor, Jamil Anderlini, reports from Hong Kong:

“To mark the momentous vote on Friday morning, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong, a storied institution that was the setting for John le Carre’s “The Honourable Schoolboy”, offered a full English breakfast for members to enjoy while watching the results live on the BBC.

From the shocked faces around the bar during the early results, when Leave seemed to be well ahead, it appeared that most British citizens based in the former crown colony were Remain supporters.

Several prominent reporters and old-timers could be seen steadying their nerves with a stiff Bloody Mary or three in the finest tradition of the FCC bar.

The breakfast was scheduled to finish by 10.30am – 3.30am UK time – but as the plates were cleared away and the breakfast patrons began drifting off to work, the result was split exactly 50-50 with barely a third of all votes counted.”


From Leo Lewis in Tokyo:

Nearly two hours into the Tokyo morning session, the Topix is down a fairly narrow 0.4 per cent but the swings that have brought it here have been breathtaking.

“This is the algos [algorithms] and the arbs [arbitrageurs] doing this,” said one broker after the Topix staged a 3.3 per cent per cent collapse and a 3 per cent rally within the space of one hour.

“Who else is going to trade into this level of volatility and uncertainty? We don’t know what the world is going to look like in three hours’ time.”

After a cautiously positive start for Tokyo stocks, those huge swings in the yen – now very much back in the role of global safe haven currency as the referendum results come in – have made their mark.

Although the yen has moved most spectacularly against the pound, markets appear to be more driven by the dollar-yen rate, which has seen the yen renew its highs of around Y103/$ – a level that has previously ignited speculation that the Japanese authorities might intervene.


The political scientist Chris Hanretty is now saying that according to his model the referendum is over with no chance that Britain remains in the EU. Of course his model could be wrong.

https://twitter.com/chrishanretty/status/746161916431712257


Swings and knives on the latest edition of our front page:

https://twitter.com/FT/status/746161873838546944


Emoticon Aberdeen, Scotland’s third most populous city and the oil capital of the UK, has voted 63,985 in favour of Remain vs 40,729 for Leave on a turnout of 67.9%


Overall, the vote split is exactly 50/50. Odds on both a Leave and a Remain outcome are effectively evens. So, it’s still a coin toss.


The mood is as intense on Australian dealing floors as those elsewhere, reports Jamie Smyth from Sydney.

Daniel Been, a currency strategist at ANZ Bank in Sydney, who has been manning his desk since 5.30am, said he was swamped.

Liquidity was as expected, he said, but “any further signs of a close count will mean that there are fewer offers for US dollars and as such any disappointments are being amplified [in the market moves].”

Local media report the Reserve Bank of Australia has warned the government an exit “could unleash market swings in Europe with the risk of contagion spreading to other markets, including in Australia”.

Exporters were watching the vote particularly closely, dealers said. There has been a pick-up in hedging in recent days against the risk, however low it looked at the time, of an “Out” vote.

In April the pound hit a 15-month high against the weak Aussie dollar at A$0.54, but dropped to A$0.49 last month as Brexit expectations rose. It was being see-sawed around on Friday, but stood at A$0.526 as Sydney dealers ate lunch at their desks.


John Curtice, the electoral guru, has told the BBC that the winning post is 16.8 million votes. As it stands Leave leads by just under 200,000 with 5,752,238 votes after 153 results.


The inquest has already begun among Labour figures about what went wrong. John Mills, a Labour donor – who helped fund the Out camp – has said that Labour made a mistake by campaigning so “strongly” for In.

“”The mistake they made was campaigning so strongly in favour of staying in, rather than having a supportive but critical stance,” he said. “Once they started saying that the EU had everything going for it and nothing wrong, it was not a credible position for people in the North of England.”


Emoticon Sheffield has narrowly voted for OUT by just under 6,000 votes, the city was meant to be a narrow win for Remain.

Leave – 136,018
Remain – 130,735
Turnout was 67.3%


Markets are clearly worried, with the Brexit plane parked on the runway with the engine running, reports Michael Mackenzie.

Here are the key levels to watch – a decisive break of $1.40 for the pound as we go below $1.399. Gold breaking above $1,300 as it spikes to $1,284. The 10-year Treasury yield below 1.50 per cent as it trades at 1.58 per cent.


The Sheffield result has given betting markets a real kick. Betfair odds for Remain now down to 30%.


Miles Johnson, our global investment editor, passes along the comments of one hedge fund trader:

I haven’t seen price moves like this in sterling my entire career. I have never seen moves of 2 per cent up or down within an hour


Even with the result not yet certain, punditry has begun to shift from “Who will win?” to “Why does Remain look to have lost?”

Emily Thornberry, the Labour MP, is blaming lack of access to services and housing.

Jonathan Reynolds, her colleague, tweets:

https://twitter.com/jreynoldsMP/status/746167221622300672


Emoticon Edinburgh, Scotland’s second biggest city, has declared strongly in favour of IN:

Remain 187,796
Leave 64,498
Turnout was 72.9%


From Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong:

The focus is on trading London-related names. HSBC and Standard Chartered are taking a hammering, down 3.5 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.

This after finishing up 2.4 per cent and 2 per cent in London on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, John Tsang, has also assured investors there territory has enough liquidity to cope with different scenarios.

“We have been prepared in different aspects. We have also reserved enough liquidity. So we should be able to handle different situations,” he said.

But a lot of investors are staying on the sidelines as the count continues.

“Sometimes it really is better to sit on your hands and do nothing,” said one hedge funder. “Sure you could buy sterling at $1.40 and sell at $1.45 – so long as you don’t think its going to $1.25, which it might.”


Remember by the way that the SNP said they would push for a second independence referendum if Scotland voted In and the rest of the UK voted Out.

It is in the UK prime minister’s gift to grant this, but the question may soon be whether that person (whoever it is) can resist demands for yet another referendum from north of the border.


Hilary Benn, shadow foreign secretary, has predicted that David Cameron will have to resign if – as looks increasingly likely – there is a Leave vote.

“If you are the PM, you have called this referendum, you have laid your reputation on the line and your arguments, I think it’s going to be very hard.”

Then again, Cameron may not need to be pushed. The prime minister must know that he staked his political reputation on convincing the British public to stay in the EU.


Over on our results page you can see clearly where the most Eurosceptic and most Europhile parts of the UK are:

Gibraltar is a bit of an outlier, literally. In the UK, the most Europhile reporting area so far is the London borough of Lambeth.



Seb Payne says: Insiders at Vote Leave HQ say the mood is “excited” as the results come in and the campaigners are “not quite daring to believe” that they are on the brink of victory.


Emoticon The results are flooding in but one that stands out is Nottingham which has narrowly voted for Leave (61,343 vs 59,318) when modelling suggested it should have been a 4 point victory for Remain


Sterling is breaking down. It has fallen below February’s low of $1.3838, reports Michael Mackenzie.

Traders who bought put options struck below $1.40 are now increasingly in the money. As they richen in value, sterling has slumped below $1.37. Yen breaks Y100 as risk aversion accelerates.


We are just over the halfway mark in terms of the results and Leave has a lead with 51.6% of the votes


At the beginning of the night, Nigel Farage, the leader of the pro-leave UK Independence Party, said he thought his side had lost it. This is his reaction now:

https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/746172230988619776


From Reuters: A Japanese government spokesman said on Friday that sudden moves in currencies and other financial markets related to Britain’s referendum on membership in the European Union are undesirable.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told reporters Japan’s government is worried about market moves and prefers markets to move stably. Seko also said the government will continue to closely monitor market moves.


Huge moves across markets and key levels are shattering as volatility surges, says Michael Mackenzie.

Yen bounces back over Y100 while the pound has lost 9 per cent versus Japan’s currency alone.

The pound is down nearly 8 per cent at $1.37 versus the dollar and a test of $1.35 is a 30 year low. Gold approaching a key breakout level of $1,300 with 10-year yield near 1.50 per cent.


The odds on a Remain victory have plunged to just 12%. When the polls closed, the odds were over 90%.


EmoticonManchester votes Remain, in line with expectations.

Remain secured 60.4 per cent, or 121,823 votes, against Leave’s 39.6 per cent, or 79,991 votes.


Leave now has a lead of almost 500,000 votes with 182 local authorities still waiting to declare


Sterling has reached a 30-year low against the dollar, below $1.35, reports Michael Mackenzie, our markets editor.


Emoticon Bristol has declared for Remain, making some inroads on Leave’s lead, which now stands at 51 per cent


Nigel Farage is giving a victory speech. The Ukip leader, who stood seven times for Parliament and was never elected, is now responsible for changing the course of British history. He was shoved aside by the official Tory-dominated Vote Leave camp but is still enjoying his moment in the limelight.

“Honest, decency and belief in nation is, now, going to win,” he says, labelling today as ‘Independence Day’. “Let’s get rid of the flag, the anthem of Brussels and all that has gone wrong.”


This the take on currency markets from FastFT’s Katie Martin:

Markets are hitting the ejector button.

Sterling has of course been having a rough run all night, experiencing a record-breaking drop. But this is now morphing into something much broader and deeper.

The yen, a classic retreat in times of stress, has just blasted higher, with the dollar sinking briefly under Y100. This puts the Japanese currency squarely in the territory where the central bank, acting on the ministry of finance’s behalf, might be minded to intervene to weaken it.

Sterling is now at , at around $1.35, a 30 year low having broken through 2009 crisis levels. It was over $1.50 when polls closed at 10pm last night. That’s a drop of 8.8 per cent on the day so far.

It’s really very very messy.


Here are some more quotes from Nigel Farage’s celebratory remarks just now:

Dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom. This will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.

Today, honesty, decency and belief in the nation I think now is going to win.

We have done it without a bullet being fired… We have done it with damned hard work on the ground.

Let June 23rd go down in our history as our independence day.


Remain chances of victory now down to 8%, per Betfair.


Emoticon West Oxfordshire, which includes David Cameron’s constituency, has just backed Remain. It will do little to cheer the prime minister, however, as it delivers only 35,236 votes against 30,435 for Leave. The OUT camp has a lead of more than 600,000 votes with 265 of 382 authorities reporting. There are still some areas with large populations to vote, however.


John Curtice – referred to jokingly on the BBC as St John Curtice because of the regard in which he is held in the polling world – now says:

If things carry on as they have been for much longer then it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Leave has won.


Investors are rushing for havens as the chance of Brexit rises, says Elaine Moore, capital markets correspondent.

Demand for US government bonds has pushed the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasurys – the bedrock of the global financial system – down 23 basis points to 1.54 per cent.


If you need any further reminder of how far the shockwaves of the voting is spreading around the world, the Japanese finance minister, Taro Aso, has announced he will be giving a press conference in just under an hour, after the Yen strengthened against the US dollar as it passed below 100.
Here are the previous levels for Japan’s central bank to intervene, courtesy of Nomura via our colleagues on FastFT


Emoticon Birmingham, the UK’s second biggest city, has voted in favour of Leave


A little bit more on what is going on in Japan from the FT’s Robin Harding in Tokyo:

Japanese finance minister Taro Aso will hold a press conference at 1.15pm local time (5.15am in London), said the ministry of finance, after the yen briefly burst through Y100 to the dollar at one point. It fell back to trade at Y101.5. Officials at the Bank of Japan said they were “too busy to talk” or did not answer the phone.


The pound’s dramatic fall sets up the world’s central banks for a revival of currency wars, reports the FT’s Roger Blitz.

A press conference has been called by Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso, after results from the EU referendum piled risk aversion into the FX market, notably the yen.

The yen climbed to below Y100 to the dollar, a rise of more than 4 per cent and hitting a psychologically significant level that was last reached in November 2013.

Japan has refrained from intervening to weaken the yen, under pressure from the US government which has argued all the year that the yen’s appreciation has been “orderly”. But market analysts predict the turmoil caused by Brexit will give Tokyo reason to argue that the yen’s appreciation to below Y100 is now a “disorderly” market event, giving the government reason to intervene.

Other governments may also feel compelled to act. The Swiss franc is up 1.8 per cent against the euro to levels that will sit uncomfortably with the Swiss National Bank.


Emoticon Southampton has just declared for Leave, which now holds a lead of more than 730,000 votes, giving it a total of more than 12,400,000 votes. The winning side needs to go past 16.8 million votes


An image here from the headquarters of Vote Leave:

https://twitter.com/DouglasCarswell/status/746183862028505089


A reminder, from our capital markets correspondent Elaine Moore, that all three of the world’s largest credit rating agencies have warned that a vote to Leave would have a negative impact on UK creditworthiness, with S&P declaring that the UK could lose its final, gold-plated AAA credit rating in the event of Brexit.


Odds on Remain now out to 55/1 after ITV calls it for Leave.

https://twitter.com/itvnews/status/746185998644690944


Emoticon BBC has now also called it as a victory for Leave and so has Sky News


And here’s a screengrab of Sky calling it for Leave:


The pundits on the TV are suggesting the margin of victory for Leave will be 52% to 48%, which translates into a winning margin of about 1 million votes


Here’s a map of the vote shares so far; green is Leave, blue Remain:


This is the view of Richard Haass, the American diplomat and president of the US foreign policy think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations

https://twitter.com/RichardHaass/status/746180724886278144


And here’s Nigel Farage as he declares the UK’s “independence day”:


This is how the nations of the UK have voted so far, according to the BBC:

England: Remain 11,113,232 votes (46.4%), Leave 9,611,351 votes (53.6%)
Northern Ireland: Remain 408,744 votes (55.3%), Leave 330,783 votes (44.7%)
Scotland: Remain 1,661,191 votes (62%), Leave 1,018,322 votes (38%)
Wales: Remain 772,347 votes (47.5%), Leave 854,472 votes (52.5%)


The FT’s Sarah Gordon says the Electoral Commission has put the turnout at 72.2% – this was meant to be the sweet spot for a Remain victory, according to the pundits


A fresh “massive drop” in Japanese stocks, reports Leo Lewis in Tokyo:

Japanese stocks returned after the lunch break with a massive drop – the Nikkei 225 Average is now down 6.7 per cent on the day as a global rush to buy the yen sent it above Y100 against the US dollar.

Despite the violence of the moves, however, the Japanese authorities have not yet stepped into the markets to weaken the surging yen, and traders do not think they will do so until the picture is more settled.

All eyes now turn to Taro Aso, Japan’s minister of finance and a press conference scheduled for 1:15pm local time where trading floors are now expecting him to unleash the strongest possible wording of verbal intervention to judge its effects on these markets. Yunosuke Ikeda, the chief FX strategist said that the key word to look out for was “disorderly”, as that could signal the intention to intervene by buying the dollar to weaken the yen and stop the speculators producing the wild swings that have dominated today’s session.

More likely, however, is that Mr Aso uses language that talks about markets “no longer reflecting fundamentals” – strong, but short of actually intervening for the first time since the Tohoku earthquake of 2011.


Emoticon Leeds votes by a margin of 2,000 votes in favour of Remain but that will barely eat into Leave’s lead


Nicole Bullock reports from New York:

“The market for sterling is completely dislocated at this stage,” said Giovanni Pillitteri, global head of foreign exchange trading at GTS, an electronic market maker.

“We are going to see a long period of volatility in the financial markets. This is going to have repercussions in all asset classes. We will see a flight to safety. We are making history tonight.”


We have comment in from Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser to Allianz.

With markets having wrongly bet on a Remain win in the last few days, and with patchy liquidity sure to amplify price movements, there will be severe pain for levered long investors and, potentially, opportunities for cash rich ones.

Artificially-elevated financial markets were at the risk of either a policy disruption or a market accident. Brexit could well turn these two risks into reality.


This is the latest state of play from the FT’s results page


The FT has now called the result:


Our Tokyo bureau chief, Robin Harding, awaits the Japanese finance minister…

https://twitter.com/RobinBHarding/status/746191229675704324


As you digest the vote for Brexit, you may want to have a read this by the FT’s David Allen Green, our legal blogger, from just over a week ago:


Sober faces from In campaigners at London’s Royal Festival Hall:

Photo: Press Association


Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, and the woman who may be about to lead a campaign to break up the UK, has said:

While the overall result remains to be declared, the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.

We await the final UK-wide result, but Scotland has spoken – and spoken decisively.

The SNP’s policy is that there should be a second independence referendum if Scotland votes Remain and the rest of the UK votes Leave, which looks to have happened.


The Tokyo Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading of several futures and options for 10 minutes as a circuit breaker was triggered amid heavy trading following results from the UK’s EU membership referendum, reports FastFT.

Trading was suspended for futures based upon the Nikkei 225, JPX Nikkei Index 400 and Topix Core 30 for 10 minutes each.


Lots of Twitter reaction flooding in. The former leader of the Liberal Democrats has this to say:

https://twitter.com/paddyashdown/status/746189332885581826


Here’s what happened to the odds of a Brexit over the past day:


Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch anti-immigration, populist PVV party, has just put this Tweet out:

https://twitter.com/geertwilderspvv/status/746196707361185794

It translates as:

“Hurrah for the Brits! Now it’s our turn. Time for a Dutch referendum!”


Following on from the tweet by Adam Bienkov below, this is a chart of the final polls from Mike Smithson. TNS looks to have been the closest, Populus the furthest away.

https://twitter.com/MSmithsonPB/status/746071151852527617


A must read about how wrong it has gone for Prime Minister David Cameron:


My colleague Simon Mundy in Mumbai brings a grave warning from Tata Steel.

The referendum result could damage the chances of Tata Steel maintaining its operations in the UK, the country’s biggest steel producer, according to a person close to the company.

Its shares fell by 7.1 per cent on Friday morning in Mumbai, a drop beaten only by the 11.6 per cent decline for sister company Tata Motors, which also has a major UK subsidiary in the form of Jaguar Land Rover.

Tata will soon announce a final shortlist of two, from the seven bidders who expressed interest in buying its UK steel operations, but it has also been in talks with the government about support measures that could enable it to stay.

There will now be “recalibration” following the news that the UK will leave the EU, a major market for Tata Steel UK, the person said. “This could change everything.”

The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex fell 3.4 per cent on Friday morning. As well as the Tata companies, banks were also hit hard, with ICICI Bank down 6.9 per cent, and Axis Bank falling 5 per cent.


From the FT’s Lombard writer, Jonathan Guthrie:

It would have been better for pro-Remain business leaders to make free trade and tolerance of foreigners the positive central strands of its message. But this would have been too nakedly ideological for many of them.

As it was, plenty of companies, such as J Sainsbury and Legal & General sat on the fence. They said national self-determination was for the people, not the plutocrats, to decide. That was a respectable position, however much it irritated David Cameron. The referendum verdict has proved them right.


The FT’s Sarah Gordon wrote at the end of May of 51 chairman and chief executives of Europe’s leading multinational companies warning of the negative consequences of a British exit from the EU, for the rest of Europe as well as the UK. Read it here


Gisela Stuart, the chair of Vote Leave, has attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone than that of Nigel Farage earlier. She even spoke for a time in her native German in an apparent attempt to quell fears about the result on the continent.

Here is the meat of what she said:

This is democracy at work and it is our opportunity to take back control over a whole area of democratic decisions.

All of the political leaders will have to reflect on whether they have accurately gauged the people’s attitudes and the people’s desire of how to govern themselves.

This has been a cross-party campaign and what happens now also has to be a cross-party effort. We have a responsibility to act in the best long-term interests of the country.

Britain is an open society, it is a welcoming society. We will have to continue to be cooperating with European countries on an international level.

This is an important decision about our future. It is about the people who have taken that decision, it is not about the politicians.

This referendum has been fought against the backdrop of all the might of institutions and of money.

It is now incumbent on all of us to be very calm, remember our responsibilities to the future of the United Kingdom and work together to start a process – because this is simply the beginning of the process.

In the long-run I think we will find both Europe and the United Kingdom will emerge stronger as a result of this.


Grim projections for the auto industry, via the FT’s Peter Campbell:

Demand for new cars in the UK may fall by a fifth if the country enters a recession, a City analyst has warned in the first reaction from the automotive industry to a likely Brexit vote.

Appetite for new cars falls by 20 per cent in a “typical” downturn, Stuart Pearson, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, wrote in an early morning note to clients.

Shares in Japanese car makers with major manufacturing centres in Britain have fallen by around 7 per cent since the markets opened.

Nissan, Toyota and Honda between them make 800,000 cars a year at their plants in Sunderland, Deeside and Swindon.

Mr Pearson said that he projected “significant sector underperformance” among automakers, with Peugeot Citroen, BMW and Fiat Chrysler are among the companies most likely to be affected by the decision.


The FT’s head of data visualisation, Alan Smith, has this on how the vote divided the nation.

https://twitter.com/theboysmithy/status/746192307771179008


Leave has just crossed the line, with enough votes now to secure a win in the referendum on EU membership. It’s official.


Here is the statement from the Dutch anti-immigration, populist PVV party, in full:

It translates as:

PVV congratulates the Brits on Independence Day!

Thursday 23 June will go down in history as Independence Day. The Europhile elite has been defeated. Great Britain has shown Europe the road to the future and liberation. It is now time for a fresh start, to trust in sovereign power: this applies to the Netherlands as well.

In a recent poll, it appears that a majority of the Dutch population want a referendum on EU membership and that most would support an exit.

The Dutch population deserves a referendum. The PVV therefore demands the people are consulted over NExit, a Dutch EU exit. The Dutch must have the chance as soon as possible to express their views on the country’s membership of the European Union.

Geert Wilders said: “We want to be in control again our own country, our own currency, our own borders and our own immigration policy. If I become prime minister, then the Netherlands will also get its own referendum over EU membership. Let the Dutch people speak.”


The Institute of Directors calls for the government to guarantee that EU citizens living in the UK can stay here.

Their director general, Simon Walker, says:

“One thing the government must do immediately is to guarantee the right to remain of EU citizens currently in the UK. Companies do not want to have to worry about losing valued staff.”

More from Mr Walker:

“While this may not have been the result that the majority of our members wanted, Britain has voted to leave the EU, and it is now imperative that our political leaders manage the transition as smoothly as possible.

“The weeks and months ahead are going to be a nervy time for business leaders, so they need to know that the Government is focused on maintaining stability while a new relationship with the EU is established.

“British businesses are resilient and, with their characteristic ingenuity, they will weather this storm. It is now beholden on politicians to negotiate a deal with European leaders which preserves the ability of British firms to trade easily with the remaining member states.

“Even once we have left, the EU will continue to be our biggest trading partner, and the first destination for many companies when they start to export.”


John McDonnell, the Labour shadow chancellor, is looking to make sure the blame rests firmly with the Conservatives and not on his party.

He has just released this statement:

People will be waking up this morning to turmoil in the markets and the pound crashing, and fearing the emergency budget the chancellor threatened to hike their taxes and cut public services.

The government must now take steps to stabilise the economy, and to protect jobs, pensions and wages. Labour will not allow any instability to be paid for by the working people of this country.


From my colleague Mehreen Khan: In France, Marion Le Pen, niece of the head of the National Front Marine Le Pen, tweets: “It is now time to import democracy in our country. The French should have the right to choose!”

https://twitter.com/Marion_M_Le_Pen/status/746198457858220038


Here an FT graphic shows just how distorted the vote was across the UK with London, Scotland and Northern Ireland the outliers as the rest of the country backed Brexit:


Some German reactions coming in from my colleague Stefan Wagstyl:

Udo Bullmann, leader of the German social democrats in the European Parliament, predicted that the British would bitterly regret their departure. “Europe will be weakened by Brexit, but the citizens in Great Britain will have the heaviest burden to bear.”

He warned the average British household would lose “thousands of pounds a year” through losing access to the EU internal market and that maintaining zero-tariff privileges was “simply not imaginable”.

Elmar Brok, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the European parliament and a leading member of chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, said the result was a “warning shot” for the other 27 EU members.

“We must finally build a Europe that delivers what the citizens of Europe want.” Mr Brok told German television. “This must be a warning shot to the national governments.”

Mr Brok called for a tough approach to the forthcoming UK exit negotiations, saying “Out is out.”


Japanese authorities were locked in crisis meetings as the vote for Brexit sent the yen crashing through Y100 to the dollar, reports Robin Harding in Tokyo. It settled back slightly to trade at Y101.4.

Taro Aso, the finance minister, said he stood ready to take “firm action on the yen if needed” as he warned of “extremely nervous movements” in financial markets. On currency intervention, Mr Aso said he “had nothing to say at this time”.

Policymakers in Tokyo were already alarmed by the strength of the yen so far this year because it hurts Japanese exports and weighs on inflation. However, they would rather any intervention was coordinated by the Group of Seven – increasing the chances of success, and avoiding accusations of starting a currency war.

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he stood ready to provide liquidity to the banking system, including foreign currency loans if necessary.

“In close collaboration with domestic and international authorities, we are watching the effects of the British referendum result on international markets,” Mr Kuroda said.

“The BOJ stands ready to supply liquidity including utilisation of agreed swap lines with six central banks.”


A positive message from Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was killed last week in her own constituency.

https://twitter.com/mrbrendancox/status/746211828997332993


Bond traders are trying to get to grips with the immediate reaction this morning, reports the FT’s Dan McCrum.

Early indications at around 6.20am from one of the larger London floors are for the yield on 10-year gilts to drop 35 basis points this morning, which would take it to a record low.

Bond prices rise as yields fall, and the move would be an indication of both an immediate movement towards such safe assets, and indication of UK economic prospects, which may now need more support from the Bank of England.

The expectation there is that central banks will release calming statements but no action yet. Something from the BoE on availability of swap lines and stability is expected by 8am.

Also early indications are the spread on Italian debt is may move about 30 to 50 basis points wider.


S&P has confirmed that the UK is likely to lose its final AAA credit rating, reports Elaine Moore.

Moritz Kraemer, chief ratings officer for S&P, told the FT on Friday morning that he expected the political, financial and economic risks associated with the UK voting to leave the European Union to lead to a credit downgrade in the near-future.

“We think that a AAA-rating is untenable under the circumstances,” said Mr Kraemer.

The UK government will be informed 24 hours before any decision is announced.


UK bank shares look set for a hammering when markets open in London, writing banking editor Martin Arnold.

Shares in HSBC and Standard Chartered were down 11 and 12 per cent respectively in Hong Kong, where they have secondary listings, and those are the two big British banks with the lowest relative exposure to the UK.

Chirantan Barua, banks analyst at Bernstein, said he expected shares in Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays to fall 20 to 25 per cent, when London markets open, with Royal Bank of Scotland falling a similar amount.

He added that the hardest hit would be banks with high exposures to London buy-to-let mortgages and unsecured loans, particularly the smaller “challenger” banks such as Aldermore, Shawbrook and Paragon.

“London is going to get absolutely hammered,” he said. “The buy-to-let guys are the biggest single short today.” Among the biggest banks, he said Lloyds was most exposed to London mortgages, even though it has been reining in its lending to homebuyers in the capital in the past year.

With investment banking revenues likely to be hit hard, he said Barclays was vulnerable to a sharp sell-off – especially as it has the weakest capital level of the big UK banks. “Investment banking revenues will fall 40 to 50 per cent,” he said. “Who is going to put money to work in this environment?”


Tim Martin, founder of the pubs group JD Wetherspoon and a prominent Leave campaigner, tells the FT’s Jonathan Guthrie:

“I’m really delighted with the result. The key thing we have got out of it is democracy for the UK.”

Mr Martin said he hoped the UK would be able to strike bilateral trade deals with the EU: “My company has two to three thousand trading relationships and I hope the UK can do the same thing.”

The Remain campaign and its business supporters had articulated “too many slogans that preached down to people,” Mr Martin added.


While several City hedge fund managers backed Brexit, our city correspondent, Harriet Agnew, has spoken to one who manages billions of dollars on behalf of investors and is not happy with the outcome of the vote.

The hedgie says:

“It is so shocking. Who can run the country? There’s a lot of uncertainty. I think foreign investment will stay away for a long time. We are lucky as we don’t have a core business in the EU. But the uncertainty is awful.”


The early reaction from Moscow, reports Max Seddon is to hail the Brexit vote as an indictment of the EU.

Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, told the Interfax news agency that the EU “has not solved its main problem: to become understood by and convenient for the broader masses of the population.”

“However Brexit ends, this is an issue for the EU foremost to draw conclusions from, and Britain only second,” he said.

Boris Titov, the Kremlin’s business ombudsman, tweeted that Brexit “will separate Europe from the Anglo-Saxons, i.e. the US. This is not the independence of Britain from Europe, but of Europe from the US. And we’re not far from a united Eurasia – 10 years.”


The White House says that President Barack Obama will “have an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Cameron over the course of the next day, and we will release further comment as soon as appropriate”, reports Demetri Sevastopulo from Washington.


In Italy, the populist Five Star Movement, a long time critic of the EU and which this week won landslide mayoral victories in Rome and Turin, appears to be distancing itself from the Leave vote, reports Rachel Sanderson.

The blog of the movement’s founder Beppe Grillo, who has been an ally of UKIP’s Nigel Farage, is running an entry entitled “10 things you need to know about the UK referendum vote”.

Point 10 reads:

“The Five Star Movement is in Europe and has no intention of abandoning it … Italy is one of the founding countries of the EU, but there are many things in this Europe that don’t work. The only way to change this ‘Union’ is constant institutional work. For this reason the Five Star Movement is fighting to transform the EU from the inside.”


Our political editor George Parker has the latest on the speculation about David Cameron’s future.

Phillip Hammond, the foreign secretary and a centerist figure in the Conservative party, has just said:

“He will remain prime minister and carry out the instructions of the British people”


Emoticon This just in from the Bank of England:

The Bank of England is monitoring developments closely. It has undertaken extensive contingency planning and is working closely with HM Treasury, other domestic authorities and overseas central banks. The Bank of England will take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability.

Here is a look at what the BoE’s likely contingency plans include:
What will the Bank of England now do after Leave vote?


It turns out that the insurance industry has not been doing much contingency planning, according to Kennedy’s, a law firm:

The firm says that the insurance market is now faced with significant business uncertainty in the wake of yesterday’s vote in favour of the UK leaving the EU, with continuing access to the Single Market arguably the biggest concern.

Additionally, there will be fears about the impact on insurers’ ability to recruit and retain EU talent, as political focus is likely to shift to reducing the number of EU migrants coming to the UK.

The report on the referendum commissioned by Kennedys and published last month found that many insurers had not undertaken detailed contingency planning for Brexit so as not to incur unnecessary costs.

Kennedys Senior Partner Nick Thomas said: “The vote to leave will cause significant concern as to what comes next for insurers, especially those operating cross border. This is the time for careful thought and planning, and for insurers to have their say on what Brexit needs to look like to maintain the UK’s position as a global market leader.”


The price of gold has spiked rapidly, according to Neil Hume, who is watching the markets today. He says:

Gold soared to a two-year high and oil fell by more than 6 per cent after the UK voted to leave the EU, as investors searched for safe places to warehouses cash while dumping riskier assets.

The precious metal jumped to a high of $1,333 a troy ounce even as the US dollar — which usually moves counter to gold — posted one of its biggest increases on record.

Priced in sterling gold surged by more than 20 per cent — its fastest move on record — to above £1,000 an ounce, as the UK currency dropped to its lowest level in 30 years.

“The surging gold price clearly shows the panic sweeping financial markets,” said Adrian Ash, Head of Research at BullionVault.com, an online brokerage.

Unlike forex and bond markets, few commodity trading companies laid on extra staffing overnight.

Moves could accelerate as more traders get to their desks on Friday morning, though increased liquidity may also help smooth out some of the moves.

Dollar-denominated commodities typically suffer when the US dollar strengthens because it makes them more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Brent, the international oil marker, dropped $3.19, or 6.3 per cent, to $47.68 a barrel, as the dollar rose.

UK motorists hoping oil’s slide might provide a small boost to their wallets amid the broader financial turmoil are likely to be disappointed, however.

In sterling terms, oil jumped by almost 5 per cent because of the move against the dollar.

(Copyright Reuters for the gold photograph.)


Here is the final breakdown of the regional vote:


There is still a sense of disbelief in the Square Mile, judging by some of the reactions that FT colleagues are gathering from City contacts.

One hedge fund manager running a multi-million dollar fund said: “It will dawn on people that Britain is a fairly small country that no one has any real need to invest in. It will take a long time for the UK to recover from this”.

Another manager of a multi-billion dollar portfolio said: “it is so shocking. Who can run the country? There’s a lot of uncertainty. I think foreign investment will stay away for a long time. We are lucky as we don’t have a core business in the EU. But the uncertainty is awful.”


Our media correspondent, David Bond, has some thoughts on the likely newspaper reaction this morning:

The editors of the Mail, Sun, Express and Telegraph will be triumphant this morning having called on their readers to back Brexit in the final days before the vote.

The Sun’s front page editorial 10 days ago was perhaps the strongest indication that the vote might go against Remain. The Murdoch-owned tabloid has not called a major election wrong in 4 decades.

Reflecting the divisions in the country Fleet Street was also split on the vote. Even sister titles like the Mail/Mail on Sunday and the Times/Sunday Times could not agree on a unified position.

The Mirror’s editor Lloyd Embley admitted this week their eventual backing of Remain was difficult as its traditional Labour-supporting readership had doubts about the EU and immigration – as results in the Midlands and North demonstrated.


EmoticonThe result is official

Vote Leave have it by a margin of 51.9% vs 48.1%


Citi has downgraded two of the UK’s biggest banks and warned clients of a sharp sell-off in UK and European banks after the dramatic outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership, the FT’s investment banking correspondent Laura Noonan reports.

Citi downgraded both Barclays and Lloyds to “Sell”, saying UK banks were “highly exposed” to Brexit and would suffer from the loss of the EU common market, slower loan demand from UK customers, higher funding costs, lower loan defaults and longer-term risks like Scotland exiting the UK.

They added:

We also foresee c10-20% downside for European banks. Banks which are most exposed to Brexit include the investment banks, with primary (and secondary) volumes likely to be subdued for some time on heightened uncertainty. EU banks with UK operations – such as Santander, Bank of Ireland, and Sabadell – will also get hit directly on FX (foreign exchange) translation as the sterling weakens versus the euro.


Team Brexit, aka Vote Leave, is currently making its way back to London after Gisela Stuart accepted victory in Manchester. The FT’s Sebastian Payne understands that a fuller valedictory speech will be given from their campaign headquarters in Westminster later this morning.

It will most likely be delivered by Boris Johnson, the former mayor London and will be “diametrically opposed to what Nigel Farage said at Arron Banks’ party”, according to a senior Vote Leave source.


French president Francois Hollande is to speak to German chancellor Angela Merkel in about 10 minutes following the Brexit vote, says the FT’s Anne-Sylvaine Chassany. The French leader will make a statement later in the morning. “No panic,” a French diplomat sought to reassure Friday morning.

Meanwhile the National Front cheered. Marine Le Pen, the leader of anti-Euro, anti-immigration party posted the Union Jack on her Twitter account, saying: “Victory of freedom! As I have asked for years, we need now the same referendum in France and in the EU country.”

“The European Union is collapsing and it’s a very good thing” Florian Philippot, FN vice president, said on the radio. “We need now a referendum in France.”


Germany now has a special duty to keep the EU united, a senior member of Angela Merkel’s CDU party said this morning, as he decried Brexit as the “biggest catastrophe in the history of European integration”.

The FT’s Berlin correspondent Stefan Wagstyl reports that Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the Bundestag foreign affairs committee, said: “The overarching aim must now be secure unity and coherence in Europe. Germany can contribute to this like no other country.”

Röttgen also called for unity between eastern and western Europe to show the new member states that they not only had “equal rights but were also as important as the original EU members.”

German industry leaders were also quick to comment, with the chief economist of Deka, which manages the assets of the country’s savings bank, describing the result as a “political earthquake on a similar scale to the collapse of the Berlin Wall”.

“We expect a recession in the UK, and a hit to eurozone growth,” said Ulrich Kater, adding that it would take “two or three months” before the full impact was clear.

“Inside the EU, the UK had a strong voice, even if it was unable to get all its wishes implemented,” Kater added. “Outside the EU, the UK is a small country with a lop-sided economy and a huge trade deficit.”

Meanwhile, the head of Germany’s banking association described the result as a “black day for the UK and Europe”.


Sterling has taken the brunt of the market reaction, and Dan McCrum reports the markets are braced for a rough ride ahead.

“The moves we’ve seen already are going to continue”, said Vincent Chaigneau, head of rates & FX strategy for Société Générale.

The bank had predicted a rate for the pound as low as $1.25 in the event of Brexit, and sterling looks to be heading toward that way already.

In terms of European markets dramatic fallout is possible this morning, with the German and Italian bond markets key indicators of the level of stress. The German 10-year Bund only recently dipped below zero for the first time, but Soc Gen sees it moving 25 basis points below zero, or even as much as 40 basis points below.

“I’m not saying its going to be there today, but it could, maybe”, said Mr Chaigneau.

He also said the spread on Italian government debt is something to watch closely today, with 160 basis points over Bunds a key level.

“If we break that we could go to 200 basis points, which would be the dividing line between contagion and crisis”.

The last time Italian bond spreads were above 200 basis points was February 2014.


Claire Jones in Frankfurt reports that German markets are also being hit.

The DAX futures index, representing options on Germany’s leading companies, fell almost 11 per cent soon after opening to 9,164.

The Frankfurt stock exchange will open in under thirty minutes.


America reacts… Here’s how the US media is reporting the referendum result, via the FT’s Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.



European newspapers are digesting the news. Ireland has the greatest immediate interest, and both Irish Times and Irish Independent have links to discussions about how Ireland will be hit by the economic backwash. Here’s the Independent:

and here is the Irish Times

Italy’s Correiere Della Sera has a headline that translates, roughly, as “Historic Vote, Britain leaves Europe, Farage exults, Cameron hangs on for now, Markets Panicking.

Germany’s Bild, which urged Britain to stay in, has pictures of gutted-looking Remainers and subtitles including “Europe’s Black Day”

Of the French newspapers, Le Figaro has the more dramatic approach, predicting “This is the beginning of a real cataclysm”


Reaction from world leaders continues to pour in this morning.

The FT’s South Asia bureau chief Amy Kazmin reports that Arun Jaitley, the Indian finance minister, has said the country is “braced” for more volatility. Indian stocks are down 3.6 per cent this morning.

He said:

We respect the referendum’s verdict. At the same time, we are also aware of its significance in the days ahead and also for the medium term.

In this globalized world, volatility and uncertainty are the new norms. This verdict will, obviously, further contribute to such volatility not least because its full implications for the UK, Europe and the rest of the world are still uncertain. All countries around the world will have to brace themselves for a period of possible turbulence while being watchful about, and alert to, the referendum’s medium term impacts.

The Indian government had previously made clear that it would prefer it if the UK remained part of the EU, with Sushma Swaraj, the foreign minister, last week describing the UK as “India’s gateway to Europe.”


It is not just Sterling that is falling.

The Euro is suffering its worst ever day against the dollar, reports FastFT


Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has said David Cameron should invoke Article 50 immediately and start negotiations with the EU to maintain UK trade and jobs.

“I want them to decide now quickly what they’re going to do to stabilise the value of the pound. The important thing is to protect jobs, those jobs are partly dependent on the value of the currency and the export markets that are available,” he told the BBC.

He declined to say whether he thought the PM and his chancellor should resign. “The relationship with the EU after exit is absolutely crucial to the economic future of this country and I hope the PM will be focused on that.” What he does in the longer term is up to him and his party, he added.

He also said the UK would have to come up with a new immigration policy while “recognising the enormous contribution” migrants bring to the country. He deflected questions over whether his campaigning for the EU had been half-hearted.


Donald Tusk, president of the European Council has warned EU leaders are “determined to keep our unity as a 27″ after the UK’s exit.

He said there would be “no legal vacuum” until the UK formally applies to leave the EU by triggering Article 50 and all EU law would continue to apply to the UK.

Mr Tusk said: “there is no hiding the fact we wanted a different outcome”.

“I am fully aware of how dramatic this even is. There is no way of predicting the political consequences of this event. This is a historic moment but not a moment for hysterical reactions”


Speculation re David Cameron’s future is intense. This from ITV’s political editor:

https://twitter.com/Peston/status/746233855112151040


We are beginning to see commentary from major international banks (whose shares are widely expected to suffer badly today). Here is Morgan Stanley:

“The UK’s vote to leave the European Union is a very significant decision which will have a considerable impact, the extent of which will not be known for some time. There will be at least a period of two years before an actual exit takes place, so there will be time to implement any changes required to adjust our business to the new environment. Morgan Stanley will continue to monitor developments very closely and will adapt accordingly while prioritising the interests of our clients, our shareholders and our employees.”

and here big rival Goldman Sachs from its boss, Lloyd Blankfein:

“We respect the decision of the British electorate and have been focused on planning for either referendum outcome for many months. Goldman Sachs has a long history of adapting to change, and we will work with relevant authorities as the terms of the exit become clear. Our primary focus, as always, remains serving our clients’ needs.”

John Cryan of Deutsche Bank is less phlegmatic, and includes a personal note:

“At this stage, we cannot fully foresee the consequences, but there’s no doubt that they will be negative on all sides. As a bank headquartered in Germany and with a strong presence in the UK, we are well prepared. However, there’s no doubt that the uncertainty created by the referendum’s results will be a challenge,” he said.

“Let me add a personal note: I am a strong supporter of the European project, which has brought peace and prosperity for more than 50 years. As a Briton and a European, it especially saddens me that Europe has obviously lost its attractiveness for many of my fellow countrymen. It’s a clear signal to the EU to get closer to its people and to strengthen democracy.”

HSBC‘s Douglas Flint is trying to sound reassuring:

“We are today entering a new era for Britain and British business. The work to establish fresh terms of trade with our European and global partners will be complex and time consuming. We will be working tirelessly in the coming weeks and months to help our customers adjust to and prepare for the new environment.

As one of the largest, most stable, liquid and prudent financial institutions in the world, HSBC is well placed to support our customers and the markets as they deal with the challenges that will arise. Our commitment to British businesses, customers and staff in the UK remains undiminished.”


Thoughts in the city are also looking at which companies might be winners out of the vote, Jonathan Eley reports.

This is the assessment from Deepa Venkateswaran, utilities analyst at Bernstein:

Utilities less affected by UK leaving the EU as their business is largely domestic and defensive. National Grid and United Utilities would benefit if inflation rose (due to weaker pound) as their regulatory asset value and allowed revenues are linked to inflation.

Centrica gets around a fifth of its operating profit from the US. However, Drax would be impacted by currency moves as its biomass feedstock is imported from the US – and the prospect of another Scottish referendum would create uncertainty for SSE, which has a substantial asset base north of the border.


Meanwhile, in Europe, the FT’s Duncan Robinson reports from Brussels that Belgian prime minister Charles Michel said: “I call for a conclave to reaffirm our commitment in July. We have to define our priorities and set out a new future for Europe.”

Michel was deeply critical of Mr Cameron’s renegotiation efforts with the EU.

In Dublin, the FT’s Vincent Boland reports that Irish government ministers are meeting later this morning to discuss how the referendum will affect Ireland.

Ireland is the only EU country that shares a land border with the UK.

The government in Dublin also believes an exit will undermine the Good Friday Agreement, which secured a peace settlement in Northern Ireland in 1998.

The hard-left nationalist Sinn Fein party called for a referendum on Irish reunification this morning, with the party’s national chairman Declain Kearney saying:

English votes have overturned the democratic will of Northern Ireland. This was a cross community vote in favour of remaining in the EU.

English voters are dragging Northern Ireland out of the EU.

This British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland.


In a night of surprises, these are the areas where the results diverged most from the forecasts from academic Chris Hanretty. Bolsover in Derbyshire was the biggest surprise of all. (I went to Bolsover recently to report on its labour market: it has some of the lowest wages in the country and has never recovered from the closure of the coal mines).


There is some reaction coming in from China, via the FT’s Lucy Hornby. Those with interests in the UK will be interesting to watch; George Osborne put great store by attracting Chinese investment. Huawei, a Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer with R&D center in Bristol, says:

“We respect the decision of the UK people. Huawei remains committed to providing value to our customers in the UK and Europe.”

The biggest potential investment was to be in the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor, alongside EDF, the French utility. A senior executive at China National Nuclear Corp, a potential partner with China General Nuclear in Hinkley Point, says:

At the moment we are more focused on the British market itself and what the changes might be there rather than the UK’s EU membership. We don’t know if after the UK leaves whether it will change its foreign investment policies; whether it would still be open or adopt a more closed attitude. As a market, what will be the impact? I don’t see any immediate effect but in the long term it could mean a drop in projected electricity demand.”


Gilt yields have set new records as the UK’s decision to leave the EU fuels a rush for safety in financial markets, reports Elaine Moore

Yields on benchmark 10-year UK government bonds dropped 31 basis points to a record low of 1.07 per cent, in line with dramatic falls in US and German rates, as investors express their concerns about the long-term ramifications of Brexit on the global economy.

Major global bonds are benefitting from widespread risk aversion in markets, pushing the yield on US 10-year Treasurys to a near four-year low of 1.49 per cent while 10-year German Bund rates hit a record low of minus 0.17 per cent and

Japan’s benchmark dip to a fresh low of minus 0.185 per cent.

Investors in the UK say they are now focused on whether the Bank of England will step in to support the economy by cutting interest rates or reigniting a programme of quantitative easing.

The BoE said on Friday that it was “monitoring developments closely”.


Stocks are also falling.

The FTSE 100 has slumped 7.4 per cent this morning in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Taylor Wimpey was the biggest faller, sliding 42 per cent, while RBS skidded 34 per cent and IAG slid 33.7 per cent.

More on FastFTEmoticon


Lloyds Bank is one of the shares hit hardest in early trading, down some 30 per cent in the first few minutes after the open. We have reaction to the vote from a spokesman. They are hoping to emphasise continuity:

“We remain committed to our purpose of helping Britain prosper through our focus on UK retail and commercial banking, funding business investment, and serving the financial needs of our customers to support them throughout this period and beyond. There are no changes in the products or services offered to customers, either in the UK or overseas. Customers can continue to use our banking and insurance services as they did before. Customer deposits in the UK continue to be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme; and the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority remain our primary regulators. With the expected timescales for the negotiations, the Group will have time to consider any future changes that may be required in the new environment.”


What does the vote mean for house prices? The FT’s property correspondent Judith Evans has been talking to people in the property market this morning and this dispatch:

The UK’s house price boom is set to come to an abrupt end after the vote to leave the EU, estate agents and analysts said, predicting an immediate slowdown in transactions and a halt to the steep price rises of recent years.

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said that “the immediate impact is likely to be a fall in housing turnover and a rapid deceleration in house price growth” as buyers “wait and see” how the economy is affected. Price growth is set to go into reverse, meaning that prices will be flat over 2016, said Adam Challis, head of residential research at the property advisers JLL.

He said the company expects price falls of 3 to 5 per cent in each of 2017 and 2018 — but that is “based on the best case scenario of a relatively orderly adjustment to our new political realities”. Henry Pryor, a London buying agent, predicted a more drastic fall. “The average home in the UK will probably end the year worth £20,000 less than it was worth in January,” he said.


The FT’s Emma Dunkley has reaction from Nationwide, the country’s largest building society (and thereby spared the trauma of a stock market reaction):

Nationwide believes this was very much a decision for the British people and acknowledges the outcome of the vote accordingly. As the leading UK building society, and as one of safest and strongest financial services organisations in the country, the direct impact of the vote to leave the EU on Nationwide will be limited, and in the immediate and short-term nothing will change. Our priority, is to make sure that Nationwide continues to provide stability and security for members’ money for generations to come. Your money is as safe with Nationwide as it always has been. What won’t change for Nationwide is that people will continue to need a home to live in and want to save and plan for the future. Helping people to achieve these aims will be our number one priority as it has been for over a hundred years.


One of the biggest deals seen likely to be affected by a Brexit vote was the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange. They said that they remained “fully committed” to the “agreed and binding merger terms” and that it was continuing to seek regulatory approvals for the deal, despite the UK’s vote to leave the EU. Here are parts of a statement:

“The boards believe that the outcome of the referendum does not impact the compelling strategic rationale of the merger. The boards further believe that the combined group’s capabilities, including global reach, distribution network across Europe, Asia and America, brand strength, financial resources and deep customer relationships, remain well positioned to serve global customers irrespective of the result of the referendum.

The two exchanges added that they were in “ongoing and constructive dialogue with the appropriate UK and German governments and lead regulators, including the Bank of England, FCA, BaFin and the government of Hesse, to discuss the merger, including the referendum outcome, as well as all other relevant governments, regulators and authorities in France, Italy and other countries in which we operate.”


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David Cameron has said he will step down as prime minister after a “period of stability”. He said on the steps of Downing Street there did not need to be a fixed timetable for this, but the new PM should be in place by the time of the Tory party conference in October.

He also said the new PM should be the one to decide when to trigger Article 50, which suggests that won’t happen for a few months at least.

The British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and I think the country requires fresh leadership to take in this direction. I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers the country to its next destination.”


First sign of currency wars? The FT’s Roger Blitz reports that the Swiss national Bank says it is intervening in the FX market as a result of the impact of Brexit, which has driven the Swiss franc higher by more than 1 per cent against the euro.


It’s not just German politicians and industry leaders speaking out this morning.

The FT’s Claire Jones and Stefan Wagstyl report the German media were “distraught” by the news that the UK had voted to leave the EU.

Handelsblatt, a business daily, said the European version of doomsday was reality.

“Britain has a majority that has decided to harm themselves,” handelsblatt.com said.
The lead article on the website of the conservative broadsheet the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described the vote in favour of leaving the EU as “a sad day for Europe and Great Britain”.

Spiegel magazine also warned that right wing populists in the whole of Europe were “delighted and are now also demanding referendums over the EU.” “The Big Bang” Spiegel said in a headline above an instant online commentary. “The incomprehensible has happened. The British want to leave the EU. The result of the referendum is close, but the result is unambiguous.”

The Süddeutsche Zeitung’s website did not mince its words, saying the British had made a decision “full of fear”.

Bild, the top-selling daily, stuck to the facts. Its online splash said simply: “The EU opponents have won”, above a picture of young Bremain supporters looking shocked at a post-poll party. The caption read: “Incomprehension among the Brexit opponents in London as they grasped what is now official: the British are getting out.”


Roger Blitz, our currency correspondent, reports that the Swiss National Bank says it is intervening in the market. The Swiss franc has risen over 1 per cent against the Euro: a day ago it stood at 1.0880, and it is now at 1.0780.

However, it is still the yen that has seen the greater changes. At JPY 102.7 to the dollar, it stands around 3 per cent higher than it was a few hours ago – but it also dipped below 100 to the dollar when the result came through.


Another important point from David Cameron’s speech: he assured EU nationals living in Britain, and British nationals living in the EU, that there would be “no immediate changes in your circumstances.”

Here are the thoughts of Julia Onslow-Cole, head of global immigration at PwC Legal, on what Brexit means for immigration:

This vote could have significant impact on businesses ability to recruit both highly and low skilled individuals. However, the full extent of this impact won’t be known until the trading negotiation position is decided and whether or not this includes a requirement to implement Freedom of Movement.

Although it is widely expected that grandfathering will occur, whereby existing EU migrants would be able to continue to live and work in the UK, it is still unknown what transitional arrangements, if any, will be made. Businesses also face potentially increased immigration regulation both in the short and long term and should start to plan accordingly.


EasyJet is seeking to reassure investors this morning, after the referendum result sent shares down nearly 15 per cent in the first hour of trading.

The company said in a statement that it was “confident” the result “will not have a material impact on its strategy or its ability to deliver long term sustainable earnings growth and returns to shareholders”.

The company added:

easyJet has been preparing for this eventuality in the lead up to the referendum vote and has been working on a number of options that will allow it to continue flying in all of its markets.

easyJet’s initial focus will be to accelerate discussions with UK and EU governments and regulators to ensure that the UK remains part of the single EU aviation market. This would enable EU airlines to fly freely within the UK and between the UK and EU, allow UK airlines to fly freely across Europe and would ensure that consumers continue to benefit from low fares and would mean easyJet and other airlines can continue to operate as they do now. easyJet will also continue to develop its alternative options that will fully maintain its existing network and operations.

easyJet is confident that its unique network, digital leadership, cost advantage and financial strength will enable it to continue to execute on its strategy and to deliver long term sustainable earnings growth and returns to shareholders.

EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall, a member of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s business advisory group, had campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU. Earlier this year, she warned that the cost of flights would go up if the UK left the EU.


Dan McCrum has been talking to investors, as markets are being hit across the board.

“Credit markets have moved across the board”, according to Jim Leaviss of M&G Investments. Trading in individual corporate bonds, the so called cash market, is yet to get going this morning but there have been some sizeable moves in the indices where fast buying and selling tends to be concentrated.

The euro crossover index spread, which tracks the market for debt judged sub-investment grade, had moved 81 basis points wider just before 8am this morning, although it had been as wide as 120 basis points earlier in the day. The move is equivalent to a drop in the value of the market of about 4.5 per cent.

Bank bonds have been worse hit, with some of the more lowly rated banks based in the peripheral countries of Europe experiencing big moved in their bond prices, of as much as 10 percentage points.

Like many investors Mr Leaviss was contemplating when the Bank of England will take action, with an immediate rate cut today or at the weekend a possibility.

The Bank has held base rates at half a per cent since the crisis, at the time indicating it would not cut below that level due to the possible impact on building societies, who would see their profits squeezed.

However “at a time when everyone in the world, excluding the Federal Reserve, is at zero, 50 looks high”, said Mr Leaviss. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has this morning said a July rate cut is likely, potentially with fresh quantitative easing coming the following month.

Trevor Greetham, of Royal London Asset Management described a flurry of emails this morning. “There’s quite a lot of shock and consternation”, he said.

Mr Greetham, who invests across asset classes, was yet to put in buy orders on Friday but said that his instinct was to buy UK equities, which in US dollar terms were facing a decline of 15 to 20 per cent, given the nature of markets is to overreact in the short term.


Political pundits are beginning to react to Cameron’s resignation. Here is Steve Hawkes of the Sun:

https://twitter.com/SamCoatesTimes/status/746245565604823040

George Eaton, political editor of the New Statesman, thinks Britain may need to prepare for an election:

https://twitter.com/georgeeaton/status/746243754454028288

The Spectator’s Fraser Nelson thinks this an unfair disaster:

https://twitter.com/FraserNelson/status/746243660967256064

and blames certain Europeans:

https://twitter.com/FraserNelson/status/746189206305681410


One of those to have come out well from this referendum is Ruth Davidson, Conservative leader in Scotland. Here she has applauded Cameron’s response to the vote:

https://twitter.com/RuthDavidsonMSP/status/746244216456613888

Graham Brady, influential chair of the 1922 committee of backbenchers, is less generous, telling the BBC before the prime minister’s resignation statement that he regretted that the prime minister had not “remained above the fray” during the campaign. But he said it was now “very important that David Cameron remains in post and remains in office to steer the course”. He added that “the people and the Conservative party will be more at ease with this result than with the other (possible outcome).”


The newly-elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has said there is “no need to panic”.

“I agree with the Prime Minister that Britain can survive and prosper outside the European Union,” Khan, a Labour party member, said this morning.

“I want to send a clear message to the British people and to businesses and investors around the world this morning – there is no need to panic,” he said.

Khan, who campaigned for “Remain” added:

I still believe that our country is better off within the European Union, but there is no doubt that London will continue to be the successful city it is today. Our city and our country will continue to be the best place in the world to do business. And we will continue to look outwards and trade and engage with the entire world – including the European Union.

Although we will be outside the EU, it is crucial that we remain part of the single market. Leaving the single market of 500 million people – with its free-trade benefits – would be a mistake. I will be pushing the Government to ensure this is the cornerstone of the negotiations with the EU. It is crucial that London has a voice at the table during those renegotiations, alongside Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We all have a responsibility to now seek to heal the divisions that have emerged throughout this campaign – and to focus on that which unites us, rather than that which divides us.

I want to send a particular message to the almost one million Europeans living in London, who make a huge contribution to our city – working hard, paying taxes and contributing to our civic and cultural life. You are welcome here. We value the enormous contribution you make to our city and that will not change as a result of this referendum.


Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s governor, has pledged to support the economy and the financial system.

Here’s his full speech and the key points below:

1) The Bank “will not hesitate to take any measures required to meet our responsibility”. It stands ready to provide more than £250bn of additional funds to the financial system through normal market operations.

2) There’ll be some market and economic volatility but we are well prepared. The BoE and the Treasury have been doing extensive contingency planning and Carney and Osborne have been in touch overnight and this morning.

3) The banks are also well-prepared. Their capital requirements are now ten times higher than before the financial crisis, they have big capital and liquidity buffers, and the BoE has been putting them through stress-test scenarios “far more severe” than this one.


One other politician we’re expecting to hear from later today: US presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The FT’s Murad Ahmed is at the Turnberry golf course, awaiting the arrival of the real estate developer, who spent £200m renovating the Scottish resort in Ayrshire.

Golf course staff are awaiting Trump’s arrival by wearing red hats emblazoned with a take on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan: “Made Turnberry Great Again”.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was a rare international politician — alongside the likes of French National Front leader Marine Le Pen — to advocate a “Leave” vote.


Lloyd’s of London, the insurers, have been around for centuries, and so one might expect a phlegmatic reaction. Here it is, from chairman John Nelson:

“I am confident that Lloyd’s will stay at the centre of the global specialist insurance and reinsurance sector, and I look forward to continuing our valuable relationship with our European partners. For the next two years our business is unchanged. Lloyd’s has a well prepared contingency plan in place and Lloyd’s will be fully equipped to operate in the new environment.

Note that “next two years”, however.

EasyJet has rather more cause for concern, it having a clear interest in access to the single European market.

easyJet’s initial focus will be to accelerate discussions with UK and EU governments and regulators to ensure that the UK remains part of the single EU aviation market. This would enable EU airlines to fly freely within the UK and between the UK and EU, allow UK airlines to fly freely across Europe and would ensure that consumers continue to benefit from low fares and would mean easyJet and other airlines can continue to operate as they do now. easyJet will also continue to develop its alternative options that will fully maintain its existing network and operations.

Their shares are down 15 per cent at present.


The British far right are “delighting in victory”, the FT’s Tom Burgis reports, with statements from the British National Party and Britain First.

https://twitter.com/bnp/status/746219920958988288

https://twitter.com/britainfirst/status/746197476667863040

Burgis first reported earlier this week about far-right extremism in Britain, after the killing of Jo Cox, the Labour MP.


Andy Bounds, the FT’s Northern correspondent, is looking at why so many voters in the North of England voted to leave the EU.

Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead who campaigned for Leave, said: “This is the first clear revolt against globalisation and its undermining of working-class living standards.”

Bounds says the question now is where the next revolt will be — and whether globalisation can be held at bay.


The UK’s financial markets regulator said on Friday that financial regulations will stay in place despite the UK’s historic decision to leave the EU, Caroline Binham reports.

“Firms must continue to abide by their obligations under UK law, including those derived from EU law and continue with implementation plans for legislation that is still to come into effect,” the Financial Conduct Authority said in a statement.

“Consumers’ rights and protections, including any derived from EU legislation, are unaffected by the result of the referendum and will remain unchanged unless and until the government changes the applicable legislation.”

It added that it was “monitoring developments” and had been in close contact with regulated financial institutions, the government and the Bank of England, which has already said that it will take all necessary steps to maintain financial stability, adding that the UK’s banks were well capitalised.

Much of the UK’s financial regulations are derived from EU legislation and it would require legislative changes to overhaul those that apply.

“The longer term impacts of the decision to leave the EU on the overall regulatory framework for the UK will depend, in part, on the relationship that the UK seeks with the EU in the future. We will work closely with the Government as it confirms the arrangements for the UK’s future relationship with the EU,” the FCA added.


Spain’s foreign minister has said he regrets the UK’s decision to leave the EU, but suggested that Brexit would give a boost to his country’s claim over Gibraltar, the FT’s Madrid bureau chief Tobias Buck reports.

“Co-sovereignty in Gibraltar is now closer than ever,” José Manuel García Margallo told a radio station on Friday.

He added: “The Spanish flag is closer to flying on the Rock, but no-one should think that I am celebrating this situation.”

The tiny British overseas territory has long been a source of friction between London and Madrid, which claims Gibraltar as part of its own sovereign territory. Even the notion of shared sovereignty — as suggested by Mr García Margallo on Friday — is fiercely opposed by both the UK and by Gibraltar itself. Spanish officials have long argued that Brexit could help shift the debate on this sensitive issue, if only because join EU membership currently provides the legal base for keeping open the border between Spain and Gibraltar — the only land crossing into the territory.

Gibraltar on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of British EU membership in Thursday’s referendum — not least out of fear that Madrid would used Brexit to reignite its claim to the peninsula.

According to the official result, 96 per cent of the Gibraltar electorate voted in favour of Remain – the highest percentage of any voting area in the UK.


The betting odds are moving fast, and the market is not exactly liquid. Still, the message from Betfair, the betting exchange, is that there are only three candidates in the running for leadership of the Conservative party after Cameron steps down: Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Theresa May.

Johnson is seen as 50 per cent likely, May is on 20 per cent, Gove on 15 per cent. None of the others – Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox, Philip Hammond – are better than 3 per cent chance.


Moody’s, one of the three major credit rating agencies, has put out a report on what Brexit means for the UK economy. It’s not a rating decision (although those might well follow at some point) but a commentary.

Key points (in Moody’s words)

1) This outcome heralds a prolonged period of policy uncertainty that will weigh on the UK’s economic and financial performance

2) Heightened uncertainty will likely dent investment flows and confidence, weighing on the UK’s growth prospects – a credit negative for the UK sovereign and other UK debt issuers

3) Key credit risks include potential changes to the UK’s commercial relations with the EU, as well as regulatory regimes, access to funding and immigration policy

4) Brexit is less of a credit concern for EU-based issuers, although political risks within the union could increase

5) Moody’s expects that over time, the UK and the EU would come to an arrangement to preserve most – but not all – of their current trading relationships


There is a sense of anger among a number of European politicians this morning.

Former Italian prime minister and ex- head of the European Commission Romano Prodi has some tough words for David Cameron, Rachel Sanderson reports.

“We are in the throes of political and economic policy that is not inclusive and this is fanning populist parties in Italy, France, Spain and Germany. In the UK case, this discontent has manifested itself as anger towards Europe.

“But at the base of it all there was a wrong decision by Cameron, even if Remain had won. To call a referendum weakened the position of UK in Brussels, confused the electorate, and was clearly shown to be just a strategic manoeuvre by him to remain at the head of the British government.

“As a result the vote of yesterday was not only an anti-EU vote, by an anti-Cameron vote. The referendum was only undertaken by Cameron for his personal interest. In this sense, one could say: serves him right.”

Elmar Brok, the veteran German MEP, has let rip at Mr Cameron and Boris Johnson for playing out “a great game by Eton lads” at the cost of the Uk and Europe, Stefan Wagstyl reports.

Speaking on German television, he said:

“This is also a big fight [between Cameron and Johnson]. Both were together at Eton and Oxford. I have the impression that had Cameron been for Brexit, Johnson would have been for staying in. This is a great game by Eton lads that has taken place at the cost of their own country and at the cost of Europe.”


Two kinds of creature are rampaging around the City, the bulls and the bears. Via Harriet Agnew, City correspondent, let’s start with an optimist, Oliver Hemsley, the CEO of UK broker Numis Securities:

“I think this an extremely good thing. We are absolutely enveloped in European regulation, which is of no benefit to my organisation, largely as a result of the bad behaviour of the big banks in the past. I hope governments and regulators will see that non-banks are very important to the City and we can build it from here.”

With more of a global view, here is a bearish growl from Anatole Kaletsky of Gavekal, who describes Brexit as “a shock fully comparable to the Lehman collapse.” Here are some excerpts from his gloom:

the credibility of the EU and European Central Bank’s efforts to prevent another outbreak of the euro crisis and to keep Spain, Greece and Italy within the euro will be severely tested and questioned by the markets—and even more importantly by the citizens of all these countries … the Brexit vote will surely encourage similar political upheavals in other countries …. Financial markets and political pundits will be forced to take the Trump phenomenon much more seriously because expert opinion and prediction markets turned out to be so misguided in the British referendum result. That means that Trump will acquire greater credibility and financial support.

And on the upcoming political mood in Britain he is particularly bleak:

If, as is likely, Britain now suffers some kind of financial crisis and recession, the people who voted for Brexit will discover that leaving the EU has not resolved any of the economic problems and social grievances that provoked their protest against the political establishment. If this happens, public anger will presumably intensify, rather than calm down.

We will scour the internet for something cheerier to help you recover from that


MEPs have opened the door to Scottish/Northern Irish EU ascension, reports the FT’s Duncan Robinson in Brussels. They’re also criticising Cameron’s decision not to trigger Article 50 immediately.

Manfred Weber, who leads the centre right EPP group in the European Parliament and a key ally of Ms Merkel, called on the British government to trigger Article 50 immediately. “I expected them to take the necessary legal steps,” said Mr Weber. “The decision of the people is on the table. We want to immediately start with negotiations and we do this with the approach that leave means leave. I have seen the markets and Great Britain has a bigger problem than the European Union.”

Mr Weber also welcomed the idea of Scotland- or even Northern Ireland – remaining in the EU. “When there are upcoming decisions on a national level, on the Scottish level to go the other way, it is up to them. Europe is open to new member states, that is totally clear. Those who want to stay are welcome in the European Union,” said Mr Weber.

Gianni Pittella, who leads the socialist bloc in the parliament, said that Mr Cameron “had the duty resign after the crazy idea to call the referendum for internal reasons”.

He also criticised the decision to delay the triggering of Article 50. “I consider it irresponsible to postpone the notification of the decision of the people,” he added.


Japanese trading floors lurched from frenzied activity to silent disbelief in the closing minutes of Friday trading, as the benchmark Topix index descended to a close 7.26 per cent lower than the morning open, the FT’s Tokyo correspondent Leo Lewis reports.

At one point soon after the lunch break, the sell-off of Nikkei 225 futures became so intense that the market’s automatic circuit breaker was triggered, suspending dealing for 10 minutes as dealing rooms adjusted to the results of the referendum and to the startling sight of the Nikkei 225 Average down more than 1,200 points in a single day of trading.

Traders at one of Japan’s biggest securities houses described moments of “true mayhem” not seen since the depths of the global financial crisis. Traders at smaller houses noted the massive hit that the day’s trading is expected to have landed on small Japanese speculator who trade the popular leveraged Nikkei 225 exchange traded fund and had begun the day in the belief, along with the rest of global markets, that the polls were predicting a win for the “remain” camp.
The leveraged ETF, which was been the most traded asset of its type in the world for much of last year, lost 16 per cent in its biggest drop since the product was launched four years ago.


Here is a video of David Cameron announcing he is stepping down as UK Prime Minister.



Reuters

Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis, one of the world’s largest advertising groups, said he was “shocked” and “stunned” by the news.

In an interview this morning with the FT’s Adam Thomson in Paris he said the vote would have profound implications for France’s presidential election next year, and would give a huge boost to the far right National Front party headed by Marine Le Pen.

“This will help the National Front hugely,” he said. “Marine Le Pen will see this as a great opportunity.”

“It is a gift that has been given to the FN and I think it will change the debate for the election. It will change the tonality and the FN will benefit from that.”

He said that it would likely create political shockwaves throughout the European Union. “We have seen populists gain a stronger voice in many countries,” he said. “We will hear many more of them now.”

Brexit was “a big wake-up call for the European Union”. He said: “We put so much emphasis on the economic aspects of union that we ignored the emotional aspect. Patriotism is something that you cannot explain rationally but it is important and there is no European patriotism. We got sidetracked by the small issues.”

He said that Brexit would have consequences for the UK itself. “Scotland will find a way to go back to having a referendum,” he said. “I don’t know if the United Kingdom will still be united. It might turn into a disunited kingdom.”

He was more sanguine on the economic impact: “I don’t see any major crisis,” he said. “If you compare it with 2008, it will not be nearly as bad.”


After David Cameron’s resignation and Mark Carney’s attempts to reassure the City, how are the markets looking? Well, not good, but better than they were when we all woke up:

The FTSE 100 stock index: 6060, down 277 points or 4.5%; at 8 o’clock it was below 5800.

The pound: now $1.3820 against the dollar; it was below $1.36 an hour ago.

As for individual stocks, banks are still much lower, but Lloyds, RBS and Barclays have now recovered to down 15-17%. Housebuilders are feeling it worse. Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey are down around 24% each.

Here are up to date charts on the FTSE 100 and the once-proud pound:


Donald Trump: “They took their country back.”

Donald Trump has just arrived at his luxury golf resort in Scotland. The FT’s Murad Ahmed is in the press scrum and sends this dispatch:

Donald Trump has welcomed Britain’s vote to leave the EU, saying “the UK took back control, it was a great thing.”

Arriving at Turnberry in Scotland, where the property mogul has spent £200m to renovate the historic golf course in Ayrshire, he said: “It was a very historic vote” and praised the judgement of the British people.

“They took their country back… people around the world are angry,” he said.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee arrived on Friday morning, landing at Turnberry in a helicopter bearing his name and wearing a white hat emblazoned with his slogan “Make America Great Again”.

During the referendum campaign, some Leave activists had echoed some of Mr Trump’s best lines during the referendum debate, adopting the slogan “Make Britain Great Again.”

Asked how the UK’s leaders could bring together a divided country, Mr Trump said simply: “It will heal.”

During a state visit earlier this year, President Obama had intervened in the Brexit debate, warning the UK would be at the “back of the queue” to negotiate a trade deal if it left the EU.

But Mr Trump had been a rare international political figure – alongside the likes of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen – to encourage Britons to vote to leave.

There were no prominent Scottish politicians to welcome his arrival, who were instead digesting the outcome of the EU referendum. The ruling Scottish National Party was left to ponder whether to trigger a new independence referendum, just two years after Scots voted to stay within the British union. All 32 Scottish local authorities have voted to remain the EU, their will overturned by English votes.


Religious leaders are calling on Britons to “unite in a common task to build a generous and forward-looking country”.

In a joint statement this morning Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu said the UK “must remain hospitable and compassionate, builders of bridges and not barriers”.

They added:

Many of those living among us and alongside us as neighbours, friends and work colleagues come from overseas and some will feel a deep sense of insecurity. We must respond by offering reassurance, by cherishing our wonderfully diverse society, and by affirming the unique contribution of each and every one.

The referendum campaign has been vigorous and at times has caused hurt to those on one side or the other. We must therefore act with humility and courage – being true to the principles that make the very best of our nation.

Unity, hope and generosity will enable us to overcome the period of transition that will now happen, and to emerge confident and successful. The opportunities and challenges that face us as a nation and as global citizens are too significant for us to settle for less.


Earlier, Graham Brady of the 1922 committee argued that for the Conservatives this result will prove less traumatic than a Remain vote. It may not be the same for Labour, in whose heartlands many of the biggest Leave majorities were piled up.

Kevin Schofield, from PoliticsHome, has heard there is a letter going around demanding the resignation of leader Jeremy Corbyn:

https://twitter.com/PolhomeEditor/status/746239004656361473

George Eaton of the New Statesman has tweeted about the mood ahead of a 10am shadow cabinet meeting

https://twitter.com/georgeeaton/status/746250783256121344

Michael Crick of Channel 4 even wonders if this day might see Corbyn’s resignation too:

https://twitter.com/MichaelLCrick/status/746261391670120448

But the Guardian’s Tom Clark thinks accusations of Corbyn’s diffident approach being at fault for Brexit are wide of the mark:

https://twitter.com/guardian_clark/status/746214310083330049

And the Bagehot columnist at The Economist wonders whether any of this matters at all:

https://twitter.com/JeremyCliffe/status/746209503834607617

That 10am meeting, starting in just a few minutes, ought to be interesting.


The FT’s Anne-Sylvaine Chassany reports on implications for Calais and border control.

Xavier Bertrand, the centre-right president of the Hauts de France region, has requested a renegotiation of the Touquet accord between France and the UK, that allows Britain to carry border controls – and keep unwanted migrants – on the French side of the Channel. French economy minister Emmanuel Macron in March warned in an FT interview that a Brexit risked scuppering the bilateral deal. “The day this relationship unravels, migrants will no longer be in Calais,” Mr Macron told the FT then.

https://twitter.com/xavierbertrand/status/746225809887637504


With the pound rallying within touching distance of $1.40, head of markets at the FT Michael MacKenzie says this is the level to watch:

Interesting times for the pound as it approaches $1.40. This level has long represented the floor for the currency since the mid-1980′s. Indeed a break below $1.40 in February and last week proved short lived and profitable for buyers. Now traders are watching to see whether the pound’s long standing floor represents a ceiling, setting the stage for a renewed decline.


Brexit: short shock or a re-set in asset values?

John Authers talks to Gillian Tett about the economic fall out from Britain leaving the EU and whether the ripples will be felt for long after the vote.


The Remainers had warned about serious security implications if Britain voted to leave. The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg has put out what you might call a calm-down statement:

As it defines the next chapter in its relationship with the EU, I know that the United Kingdom’s position in NATO will remain unchanged. The UK will remain a strong and committed NATO Ally, and will continue to play its leading role in our Alliance.

Today, as we face more instability and uncertainty, NATO is more important than ever as a platform for cooperation among European Allies, and between Europe and North America. A strong, united and determined NATO remains an essential pillar of stability in a turbulent world, and a key contributor to international peace and security. ‎

The Alliance remains committed to closer cooperation with the European Union. At the Warsaw Summit in July, we will step up our cooperation, because together we are more effective in upholding our common values and keeping our nations safe.


The FT’s science editor Clive Cookson says the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors are “shocked by the impending loss of the EU regulatory umbrella, market access and funding” and “will be calling on the government for new incentives to stem what they fear will be an outflow of companies and scientists to continental Europe and beyond”.

Cookson spoke to Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, who said: “Inward investment stopped about three months ago because of uncertainty about the referendum.”

“We have to be realistic now and accept that people will not invest here until we do something different,” Thompson added.

In a statement AstraZeneca said: “We believe that the UK remaining in the EU would be in the best interests of patients, our industry and our company, but naturally we respect the democratic decision reached in this referendum.

“Clearly, there will now be a protracted period of transition and we will engage with all the relevant stakeholders to safeguard the competitiveness of the life sciences industry and the speed of patient access to innovative medicines.”

GlaxoSmithKline, the other big UK drug company, said: “Although the EU referendum result creates uncertainty and potentially complexity for us in the future, we do not currently anticipate a material adverse impact on the business, group’s results or financial position. We will continue to operate as usual and will engage in the process ahead.”

Jo Pisani, head of pharma and life sciences at PwC, commented: “The pharmaceutical industry now faces a daunting challenge, particularly in terms of regulations for drug development and approvals, intellectual property and investment in the UK.

“In the area of regulations for drug development and approvals, the UK’s impact on EU regulation is likely to diminish, making any UK involvement both more complex and costly or duplicating effort,” she added. “With 7 per cent of the UK’s pharma workforce being non-British, the industry will begin to see obstacles as migration and border controls change.”

The European Medicines Agency, the EU drugs regulator which employs 600 people in London, has said it will have to leave as a result of Brexit.

“It is politically inconceivable that the major European governments will allow the EMA to stay here,” said Mr Thompson. “But the industry will play a role in helping to find an arrangement that allows the EMA to continue working with the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.”


London: the independent city-state?

Lots of FT readers today mooting the idea that London (which voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU) should declare independence from the rest of the country.

Here’s “BB”

“Forget about negotiating to restore trade access. London should quickly seek independence from the rest of the UK. It should then rejoin the EU. People living outside London but working there would be given special employment passes. London would continue to abide by EU rules regarding immigration, budget, and regulations, but the space is smaller, the share of budget would be smaller, and regulations regarding cows and bananas would be academic.” http://on.ft.com/28PxV92

…and “London Dad”

“World, Europe, UK, England, south east, London, borough, street, house, family, me. The people have spoken, but which people? The England and UK bits stick out as the only parts I disagree with, yet it appears I’m stuck with them. Must that be the case? Self determination for London, anyone? Given the clear difference of view and the globalised world around us, would it really be that crazy an idea? I suspect the bits that voted Brexit would vote in favor as well. I’m not saying this as punishment, simply that there’s clearly a massive split in the country. Can it be healed? Does it need to be? Why not let us choose to be London/European/global citizens? Now that really would be a fine day for democracy.”

A petition has even popped up on change.com (albeit it only has 34 supporters at the time of writing).

For anyone else intrigued by the idea, the FT’s Philip Stephens wrote an excellent op-ed in 2014 making the case for London the independent city-state. A snippet:

The economics of independence speak for themselves. With a population of 8.5m (closer to 13.5m in the wider metropolitan area) London accounts for more than a fifth of Britain’s gross domestic product and generates as big a chunk of its tax revenues. This gives it an economy about the size of Sweden. Unemployment is less than 3 per cent; the demographic profile is more youthful than in the rest of the UK. Tourists spend £20bn each year in the capital.


Overseas markets have seen some of the sharpest falls. According to Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General on Sky Television, this reflects a lack of preparedness:

“It has come as a complete surprise to Japan, America and Europe, They are trying to figure what are the consequences for them. Our view is it was only a matter of time before one country voted to exit Europe, It happened to be Britain. It could easily have been France, Spain, or the Netherlands or many other countries. People in general and across the world are unhappy about the way economies are developing and particularly the rich v poor divide. So poor people in rich countries haven’t been doing well for a long period of time.”

This provides us an opportunity to look at how those markets have been reacting.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down 1,286 points, or almost 8%
The CAC 40, in France, is down about 370 points, again 8%
Germany’s Dax 30 has fallen 690 points, almost 7%

As for the US markets, they obviously are not open yet but the futures markest suggest the S&P 500 index should open at 2040, down 3.5%.

So Mr Wilson has a point: with the FTSE down 5%, most of these overseas markets are taking it worse. Remember, though, that most of the FTSE 100′s earnings are overseas, and in terms of sterling, the fall in the pound will have helped.


Companies in all jurisdictions are now trying to adjust to the new reality.

Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch producer of magnum ice cream and Dove soap, has been one of the most outspoken business leavers in favour of remaining in the EU, *

“Europe has given us far more benefits than downsides and long may that last,” he said last month, Scheherazade Daneshkhu reports.

On Friday, he said in a tweet: “The most important thing to have long term prosperity is to accept the will of the people and respect democracy.Now we all need to unite.”


The ECB has joined the BoE in pledging to provide liquidity to keep the markets functioning, Claire Jones reports.

The European Central Bank has just published a statement to say that it is “closely monitoring financial markets”. Markets across the eurozone have tanked on the back of the decision by the UK to quit the EU. The euro has also fallen against the dollar today.

The statement follows a telephone conference call by the ECB’s governing council earlier this morning. There were, as yet, no signs of liquidity stress anywhere in the region, according to a senior Eurosystem official. In general markets were functioning, the official said.

The ECB said it “stands ready to provide additional liquidity, if needed, in euro and foreign currencies” and that it had “prepared for this contingency in close contact with the banks that it supervises and considers that the euro area banking system is resilient in terms of capital and liquidity.”

The ECB is one of six central banks — among them the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve — that is involved in a network of swap lines, set up eight years ago during the early days of the financial crisis.

Through the lines, banks across the world can access euros. Since the crisis began in 2007, the ECB has provided euro liquidity to banks in the single currency area in potentially unlimited amounts.

The senior Eurosystem official said there were no plans for emergency overnight auctions at present.

Supervisors in the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism have been speaking to the eurozone’s biggest banks about how they would handle a Brexit.

In a statement today, the central bank said:

Following the outcome of the UK referendum, the European Central Bank (ECB) is closely monitoring financial markets and is in close contact with other central banks.

The ECB stands ready to provide additional liquidity, if needed, in euro and foreign currencies.

The ECB has prepared for this contingency in close contact with the banks that it supervises and considers that the euro area banking system is resilient in terms of capital and liquidity.

The ECB will continue to fulfill its responsibilities to ensure price stability and financial stability in the euro area.


If you’re wondering what this means for Scotland and the SNP’s independence ambitions, Nicola Sturgeon will be holding a press conference at 11am…

She has already raised the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum after the UK-wide victory for the Leave camp, saying this morning it was “clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union”.


There appears to be a bull market brewing in colourful quotes. The FT’s Northern correspondent, Andy Bounds, reports some blue-on-blue action featuring a former donor to the Conservatives, Andrew Cook. Mr Cook manufactures steel in Sheffield, and is not happy.

“I do not believe Boris Johnson or Michael Gove have the best interests of the country at hear. The leavers have the most awful hangover. They are like the host of a teenage party that wakes up to find their friends have trashed the house.

Mark Garnier, a Conservative backbencher not shy of expressing the odd view, is dismayed:

One of the things we have looked for as trade envoys is direct foreign investment into the UK, we’ve marketed Britain as that perfect entry point… we are no longer an access point for Europe. They’ll see us only as a market for ourselves. Our USP to the rest of the world has now been cancelled. We’re now a single destination market.

But one man who must be grinning like a Cheshire cat is Crispin Odey, prominent OUTer and with a portfolio perfectly poised for this. In February he said

“Europe turns us into a colony and we are used to an empire. We are not used to obeying rules we haven’t set.”

He will have more to say later, no doubt.


Richard Milne, the FT’s Nordic correspondent, reports that in Denmark, the second-largest political group has called for the country to hold its own referendum on EU membership.

Kristian Thulesen Dahl, head of the anti-immigration Danish People’s party, which supports the centre-right government from parliament, told Danish TV: “I’m a believer that Danes obviously should have a referendum on if we want to follow Britain or keep things the way we have it now.”

Dahl’s comments come on the heels of other populist parties calling for their own referendums.

In France, National Front leader Marine Le Pen posted the Union Jack on her Twitter account, saying: “Victory of freedom! As I have asked for years, we need now the same referendum in France and in the EU country.”

https://twitter.com/MLP_officiel/status/746209726673760262


We are a few hours into post-Brexit vote world, and there is time to absorb some of the great content on the Financial Times about this extraordinary event. You need to read Martin Wolf

The hinge between the EU and the English-speaking powers has been snapped. This is quite probably the most significant event in British history since the second world war. It could mark an important moment in the west’s retreat from globalisation. It is, above all, a victory of the disappointed and fearful over those confident in the UK’s ability to adapt to change and lead in Europe.

And he expects the negotiations to be bloody:

Why should they treat a country that has given them such a kick in the teeth generously? Yes, Germany has a trade surplus with the UK. But it will continue to sell high-quality products that the UK does not make with ease.

My usual day job, the Lex column, is showing some fighting spirit:

While the impact on the UK and European economies will be negative, there is the possibility that the hit to confidence is not as bad as feared and the status quo, in terms of global trade, is sustained for quite a long time. In any case, the UK is less than 4 per cent of the world economy. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, big, long-term investors such as pension funds and insurance companies are absolutely starved for yield. If a correction makes yield available, they will step in to grab it.

Janan Ganesh says Britain will come to rue the loss of Cameron:

Since Anthony Eden launched a botched military intervention in the Suez Canal 60 years ago, there has been no greater prime ministerial humiliation… Equally plain is that his successor will take over a culturally riven country, a precarious economy, pressure for a snap election, a diplomatic wrangle with Brussels over the terms of extrication and, potentially, another effort by Scottish nationalists to withdraw their pro-European nation from the UK

Amongst all the other divisions this referendum has exposed, Patrick Jenkins sees the British public taking revenge on the City:

The vote for Brexit is a rejection — most obviously of EU bureaucracy and EU-sponsored immigration, but also perhaps of a still thriving City of London that, eight years after the financial crisis it helped cause, remains resented by a large segment of the British population.


Bryce Elder, the FT’s UK equities reporter, says London’s equity markets look to be heading towards the busiest trading day on record.

More than 2.7bn FTSE 100 shares had changed hands across the main exchanges by 10.30am on Friday, up nearly 500 per cent on the recent midmorning average, Bloomberg data show.

The previous highest-volume session, during the sovereign debt crisis of May 2010, saw 4.45bn blue-chip shares traded.


Prime Minister David Cameron is having an audience with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is preparing to speak. The FT’s Jim Pickard is there:

I’m in a room of about 50 hacks waiting for the great Boris Johnson pronouncement: his first words since Brexit. It’s high up in Westminster Tower in Vauxhall.

There’s a real sense of anticipation about history being made.

Three Vote Leave people will speak but Boris is obviously the star attraction.

The only problem: apparently he won’t take questions…..


In the center of London, which voted strongly to remain, Naomi Rovnick reports on a mood of shock.

Sitting on steps next to the lawn in Broadgate Circle, a base for investment banks, seven young economists, each non-British and each from a different country, discussed their reactions to the vote.

“I woke up crying’, said Anna from Sweden, 28. ‘I am super depressed about the wider ramifications for British politics and the economy”

“We were in a bubble in London thinking this would never happen,” said Andrea from Germany, 27.

“The City will of course be affected. If EU citizens cannot come here to study MBAs as easily, there will be fewer good people for banks to hire”

Jo, a 35 year old Moroccan added: “it will definitely slow the flow of people to the City”

However, not everyone in the city is depressed by the vote.

Tim Scorer, aninsurance lawyer and consultant to law firm Kennedy’s said he had voted ‘out’ and that “the insurance sector here is large and international and will find a way to weather any problems,” as he sipped milky coffee outside a cafe in Leadenhall market in the sunshine.

Two shoeshiners in the market, which is where insurance workers from the nearby Lloyds building go to eat, drink and shop, said business this morning has been the same as usual.

(c) Bloomberg


Italian stocks are on course for their worst day of trading on record, the FT’s Mehreen Khan reports on fastFT.

The country’s benchmark FTSE MIB index fell as much as 11 per cent today, easily its worst day of trading since it launched in 1998.

At pixel time, Italian stocks are down 10.6 per cent at 16144, taking the biggest hit among Europe’s major indices. Spain’s Ibex is down 10.26 per cent, while France’s CAC 40 is down 7.84 per cent at pixel time.

Germany’s Dax has pared losses after opening in the red by as much as 10 per cent, and is now 6.6 per cent down on the day.

Italy, which has the highest government debt burden in Europe after Greece, has been particularly vulnerable to market jitters about the resilience of the eurozone.

The country’s 10-year bond yields had traded up by more than 30 basis points higher today (0.3 percentage points) to 1.6 per cent – a four month high, but have since retreated to 1.473 per cent.


From Brussels we’ve just had a joint statement from Donald Tusk (president of the European Council) Martin Schulz, (president of the European Parliament), Mark Rutte, (holder of the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU), and Jean-Claude Juncker, (president of the European Commission).

You can read it in full here.

“In a free and democratic process, the British people have expressed their wish to leave the European Union. We regret this decision but respect it.

This is an unprecedented situation but we are united in our response. We will stand strong and uphold the EU’s core values of promoting peace and the well-being of its peoples. The Union of 27 Member States will continue. The Union is the framework of our common political future. We are bound together by history, geography and common interests and will develop our cooperation on this basis. Together we will address our common challenge to generate growth, increase prosperity and ensure a safe and secure environment for our citizens. The institutions will play their full role in this endeavour.

We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty. We have rules to deal with this in an orderly way. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the procedure to be followed if a Member State decides to leave the European Union. We stand ready to launch negotiations swiftly with the United Kingdom regarding the terms and conditions of its withdrawal from the European Union. Until this process of negotiations is over, the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union, with all the rights and obligations that derive from this. According to the Treaties which the United Kingdom has ratified, EU law continues to apply to the full to and in the United Kingdom until it is no longer a Member.

As agreed, the “New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union”, reached at the European Council on 18-19 February 2016, will now not take effect and ceases to exist. There will be no renegotiation.

As regards the United Kingdom, we hope to have it as a close partner of the European Union also in the future. We expect the United Kingdom to formulate its proposals in this respect. Any agreement, which will be concluded with the United Kingdom as a third country, will have to reflect the interests of both sides and be balanced in terms of rights and obligations.”


Leading Leave campaigner Michael Gove has told a press conference that the vote to leave is just the “start of a process”.

In an attempt to offer reassurance to the nation, he said that the outlook is one of “gradual divergence”.

We will “calmly and united take our country forward,” he said.

But he was clear that this is a “new chapter” for Britain, adding “The British people have given us all a very clear instruction”.

Mr Gove also argued that informal negotiations should begin before formal talks with the EU.

It is not yet clear whether the EU will be prepared to accept that approach.


Boris Johnson: “The EU was a noble idea for its time, it is no longer right for this country”

Boris Johnson has just spoken to the nation, saying there is no need to rush the process of separation and making an appeal to young people (who mostly voted to remain.)

His key points:

1) There is now no need for haste, nothing will change in the short term – except work will have to begin on how to deliver the will of the people. There is no need to invoke article 50 right now.

2) To young people who may feel this is “pulling up the drawbridge” he said the UK would remain European, remain a great power in the continent, and continue to interact with the world “in way that is open and friendly and outward looking.”

3) This is a “glorious opportunity” to take full control of our laws, set all of our taxes, and to “take the wind out of the sails” of people who play politics with fears of immigration.

4) David Cameron is “one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age” and it was right to put this decision to a referendum. “There is no way of dealing with a decision of this scale without putting it to the people.”


Nicola Sturgeon: “A second Scottish independence referendum must be on the table, and is on the table”

The Scottish leader has said Scotland voted to stay in the EU and should not be taken out against its will. “We said clearly that we do not want to leave the EU. I am determined that we will do what it takes to make sure these aspirations are realised.”

Her key points:

1) She will take “all possible steps and explore all options” to secure Scotland’s continuing place in the EU and in the single market in particular. She will speak to the EU institutions and EU member states to stress that Scotland voted to remain. Scotland must be involved in all Westminster discussions.

2) Brexit means there has been a “significant and material change” since the Scottish independence referendum, so another is on the table. Not right to rush before discussion have been held, but “we will begin to prepare legislation that would be required for a new Scottish referendum to be held”

3) London mayor Sadiq Khan apparently shares this ambition according to Sturgeon (London also voted overwhelmingly for remain).


More from the FT’s Paris bureau chief, Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, who reports that National Front leader Marine Le Pen is reviving calls for a similar referendum on France’s EU membership.

“What many refused to envisage even a few months ago is now reality,” Ms Le Pen said at the FN’s headquarters in the outskirts of Paris. “It shows that contrary to what some had said, the EU is not irreversible. The British people has taught us a resounding lesson in democracy.

“Markets’ hysteria should not intimidate us, international high finance doesn’t dictate our lives,” the anti-euro, anti-immigration politician added.

France’s EU membership will be at the centre of the French presidential campaign next year, Ms Le Pen predicted. “I think that the UK has initiated a movement that will not stop,” she said. “The European debate imposes itself to all now and I’ll make sure it imposes itself in the presidential campaign. It’s the end of the EU as we know it.”

Ms Le Pen will meet with like-minded EU MPs to build a new “Europe of the nations,” she said.

Chassany also reports that Xavier Bertrand, the centre-right president of the Hauts de France region, has requested a renegotiation of the Touquet accord between France and the UK, that allows Britain to carry border controls and keep unwanted migrants on the French side of the Channel.

https://twitter.com/xavierbertrand/status/746225809887637504


French president Francois Hollande has said the Brexit vote was “painful choice” that he “deeply” regretted and that put the EU “gravely” to the test, reports FT’s Paris bureau chief, Anne-Sylvaine Chassany.

The danger is immense in the face of extremism and populism,” the French leader said in televised address. “It is always quicker to unwind than to construct, to destroy than to build. France, as a founder of the EU, will not accept it.”

France, he said, will make proposals to bolster the bloc’s security and defense, growth and jobs, fiscal and social harmonisation and the eurozone’s governance.

However, president Hollande also vowed to continue to work with the UK, “this great country and friend” on security, trade and culture. “The UK will no longer be part of the EU. That’s the rule, that’s the consequence,” he said.


Barclays Bank is one of the stocks hit hardest today, down 20 per cent, and more than a third since the beginning of the year, and almost half since last summer. Gulp. So time for CEO Jes Staley to offer some words of comfort to the troops?

Hmm, maybe not. Banking editor Martin Arnold has his hands on a memo to staff, which is frank about the uncertainty ahead:

“For those of you who are not UK nationals, but based in the UK, I know that the vote to leave may also raise questions about your own future. I do not pretend to have the answers but I know that our people are the lifeblood of Barclays, regardless of where they’re from, so we will do all we can to support you…

The Barclays CEO said there would be

“many questions asked in the coming days and weeks about what happens next … The answers are complex but our position is not: we will not break our stride in delivering the Barclays of the future.”

In case you are curious what that is, he called it a “a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank, anchored in the UK and the US. That remains the core of our strength and the Barclays of the future.”

Tough times. Here is the latest Lex note on Barclays to help you mull this over.


European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker walked out of a press room in Brussels after being asked if Brexit marked “the beginning of the end of the EU”.

Juncker replied “no” before leaving the room to applause from European officials, the FT’s Mehreen Khan writes on fastFT.

Making his first comments since the referendum results were announced, Mr Juncker also said he expected the UK to trigger the Article 50 clause to begin its exit process and for the government to “formulate its proposals” with regards to its new relationship.

“There will be no renegotiation”, he said. “Any agreement will have to reflect the interests of both sides and be a balance of rights and obligations.”


It is nearing lunchtime in London, and we have heard from Prime Minister David Cameron, former mayor of London Boris Johnson and Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, among others.

After a manic morning for markets, we’re not going anywhere. But we will be continuing blog on a new page here.

Bookmark the blog – rolling coverage from the FT’s reporters around the world will continue throughout the afternoon and into weekend.