United Kingdom votes to leave EU

UNITED KINGDOM - Brexit went from unlikely to a stark reality last night as voters in the United Kingdom voted by a 52-48 margin to leave the European Union. The move has unpredictable implications not only for Europe but the United States and elsewhere around the globe.

Brexit, or British exit, was a referendum on the U.K.’s desire to remain in or leave the European union.

The vote has already had economic implications. The British pound is already at a new 30 year low, and the DOW was down 700 points Friday morning, after rising 200 points Thursday in anticipation of a “remain” vote, according to CNBC.

More unknowns than knowns exist at this point, especially for those who engage in trade with the U.K. and the European Union as a whole. The European Union allowed for free trade among all member countries, providing a strong incentive for American companies to do business with them. How that will change is still uncertain according to fivethirtyeight.com.

As often happens in volatile situations, gold is one commodity that has seen its stock rise precipitously since the vote, peaking up 8 percent before falling back a little.

For now, global markets will wait to see what kind of exit agreement the U.K. reaches with the EU. That decision could take several months to more than a year.

Stephen Pounds at Bankrate speculated that US exports will be hurt but interest rates may be helped.

Mortgage rates could take a hit as well in the short term.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had different opinions of the decision. Clinton had expressed support for the U.K. to remain in the union. Meanwhile, Trump celebrated the vote while visiting Scotland on Thursday. Ironically, Scotland voted by a wide margin to remain in the EU. 

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