Brexit impact

It’s Brexit: UK votes to leave EU in historic decision

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink manufacturers are coming to terms with the decisive vote for Brexit
Food and drink manufacturers are coming to terms with the decisive vote for Brexit

Related tags: Eu membership, United kingdom, Democracy, Voting, Eu

Food and drink manufacturers are coming to terms with the decision to leave the EU, after voters decided decisively in favour of Brexit, ending the nation’s 43 year membership of the union.

More than 30M voted in yesterday’s historic EU referendum, with 51.9% voting to leave the union and 48.1% opting to remain. The 72% turnout was the highest in a national poll since 1992. 17.4M people voted in favour of Brexit.

The national result disguised widespread differences in how people voted across the EU. The south east of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland strongly backed continued membership. The Midlands and north of England and Wales favoured Brexit.

Scottish voters opted to retain EU membership by a big majority – 62%, compared with 38% who voted to leave the union.

Scotland’s clear preference for EU membership has sparked renewed calls for a second independence referendum. First minister Nicola Sturgeon said a second referendum was now “highly likely”.

Billions of pounds

In early share trading this morning, the London stock market fell by more than 8%, wiping billions of pounds from the value of UK shares. The FTSE 100 index​ fell more than 500 points before regaining ground.

The value of sterling fell by more than 10% at one stage to an historic low, not seen for over 30 years.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said its members would be disappointed by the outcome. “In March, we released the results of a poll of our members which showed 70% support for Britain to remain in the EU,​ said FDF director general Ian Wright.

“It's inevitable in the light of those results that the majority of FDF members will regard this as a disappointing result for the food and drink industry.

PM to resign

David Cameron revealed his intention to resign at 8.25am today. A new leader should be in place by October, he said.

“Now, FDF will work on behalf of our members and all those across our industry to find a way through this very challenging period that we face.

“We'll focus on working with the government to understand what this means for trading, market access and regulation to secure the best outcome for British food and drink manufacturing businesses and their consumers.”

Likely to disappoint

The decision is likely to disappoint Food Manufacture Group readers, who voted decisively in favour of continued EU membership​ in our preview poll. In our survey, 58% of respondents voted to remain within the EU, while 33% voted for Brexit.

Meanwhile, watch out for more industry reaction on FoodManufacture.co.uk charting the food and drink industry’s response to the historic decision.

We will also explore how the decision is likely to impact the prosperity of food and drink manufacturers.

Brexit – how the UK voted to quit the EU

  • 51.9% voted to leave
  • 48.1% voted to remain
  • 72% turnout
  • 17.4M people voted in favour of Brexit
  • PM David Cameron resigns

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