Calderdale votes leave as Brexit triumphs in EU referendum

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Calderdale voted to leave the European Union in what is shaping up to be a historic moment for British politics.

A total of 106,008 votes were verified from 149,195 eligible electors, making the turnout 71.05 per cent. 44.4 per cent of the electorate in the borough voted to remain and 55.6 per cent voted to leave.

In a closely-fought contest, the Leave camp passed the winning post of 16,757,766 with eight of the 382 voting areas still to declare, heading for an overall majority of 52% to 48%.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage declared that June 23 should “go down in history as our independence day”, while Vote Leave’s chair, the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, said it was “our opportunity to take back control of a whole area of democratic decisions”.

Sterling suffered one of its biggest plunges in the overnight markets, hitting lows last seen in 1985 and losing more than 10% against the US dollar, as traders responded with panic to the prospect of the UK quitting the European Union after 43 years.

With Prime Minister David Cameron expected to address the nation from Downing Street before financial markets opened, Labour said he should “seriously consider his position”, while

Mr Farage said he should resign immediately after voters rejected his passionately-expressed advice to stay in the EU.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is expected to make a statement after Mr Cameron.

Leave campaigner Amjad Bashir has spoken of his joy at the result of the EU referendum.

The Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Today we have woken up in a genuinely free country for the first time in a generation.

“We have shaken free from a club that was no longer working for us and reclaimed our own destiny. Outside the EU our great nation will be prosperous and secure, we will enjoy our increased sovereignty and democracy will be closer to the people.

“A result is a result, however narrow, and it must be respected fully. We must do as the British people wish and take back control of our borders, our money and our destiny.

“This has been a bitter and bruising campaign and I call on both sides now to come together to do their best in unison to build Britain’s exciting new future.

“That is true of the nation and of the Conservative Party. There should be no arguing the toss, no more backbiting, no sulking. Only optimism and collaboration as we forge our future as a modern, outward-looking and successful nation of the world. “Churchill famously spoke of Britain’s spheres of influence. Today the whole world is our sphere of influence and that is where our attention must now turn.

“We must reunite and look forwards instead of back. We must throw our efforts into negotiating Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and as an MEP I shall be doing all I can to make sure we achieve a smooth departure on the terms we deserve.”