DORSET was today taking stock of the historic referendum vote amid an uncertain future after Britain decided to leave the European Union – a move which prompted the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The vote to Leave, which has also left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's position in the balance, was backed in Dorset following a huge turnout at polling stations.

Leave campaigners celebrated achieving more than 60 per cent of the vote in Weymouth and Portland and 51 per cent in West Dorset.

Supporters said it was a new opportunity for the country while opponents of Brexit described it as a 'disaster'.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax called for 'unity'.
Business groups spoke of 'uncertainty' and urged the government to do all it could to maintain stability amid fears of job losses.

The immediate aftermath of the referendum result saw turmoil on the markets, with the FTSE plunging by more than 7 per cent at one stage before recovering, while the value of sterling crashed.

Many UK holidaymakers travelling abroad will pay more for foreign currency as the pound plunged to its lowest level since 1985.

It has been suggested Weymouth's tourism trade could benefit this summer if Brits choose to holiday in this country.

Mr Cameron announced his decision to quit after Leave secured a shock victory. Mr Cameron said he accepted the decision of the electorate, which voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to quit the EU.
South Dorset MP Richard Drax, a backer of Brexit, said it had been an ‘extraordinary night’.

Mr Drax called for unity, urging all sides to pull together to work together for the ‘greater good of the country.’

He added: "Voters don’t want to be run or ruled by a growing undemocratic bureaucracy. "They wanted to take control back. This is not some isolationist pursuit. It’s simple – we wanted a free, independent, democratic country, where we can make our own rules, be ruled by our elected politicians, who we can vote out if we don’t like.”

He said nearly half of voters had wanted to stay in the EU adding: “This is not a time for celebration. It’s a time for a clear head, a calm demeanour and humility, and to recognise that many people don’t agree with the stance and to work closely with them for greater prosperity of our nation as a whole.”

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin, who supported the Remain campaign, said: “The electorate has made a decision. The important thing now is for us all to come together and work together in order to provide the best future for our people."

Senior Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson insisted the Leave vote would give the UK a ''glorious opportunity'' for a brighter future.

The former London mayor added: "I believe the British people have spoken up for democracy in Britain and across Europe and I think we can be very proud of the result."

He insisted that the Brexit vote "doesn't mean that the UK will be in any way less united, nor indeed does it mean we will be any less European".

But in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she will draw up legislation to allow a second independence referendum in the face of the "democratically unacceptable" prospect of Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will.

Jubilant UKIP leader Nigel Farage called for June 23 to be declared a bank holiday as "our independence day".