Scottish leaders who overwhelming supported Britain’s membership in the European Union warned Friday of possible renewed bids for independence after British voters turned their backs on the 28-nation bloc.
Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish National Party, said that a second referendum on Scotland's membership in the United Kingdom was a possibility in the immediate future.
This potential second referendum would come two years after pro-E.U. Scottish voters rejected independence and opted to remain united with England, Wales and Northern Ireland in September 2014.
Backlash over the outcome also touched Northern Ireland and Wales, pointing to possible internal pressures tearing at the United Kingdom even as it looks toward the difficult process to break with its European partners.
“The vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union,” said a statement by the Scottish National Party, which added there would be “consequences” to the outcome of the Britain referendum.
In Thursday’s vote, Scottish voters supported the “Remain” campaign by a large margin, with every area in the country voting in favor of staying in the E.U.
Sixty-two percent of voters supported Remain, compared with just 47 percent in England.
Sturgeon said in a statement early Friday that her country “delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the E.U.”
Alex Salmond, the driving force behind the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, said Friday morning that he expected Sturgeon to begin the process of seeking another Scottish referendum, as indicated in the party’s 2016 manifesto.
According to that document, “Scotland being taken out of the E.U. against our will” gives the Scottish Parliament “the right to hold another referendum.”
“Decisions have consequences,” Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s external affairs minister, told reporters Friday morning. “If the United Kingdom has made a decision against the interests of the Scottish people that will have consequences.”
Likewise, in Northern Ireland, 11 of 18 constituencies supported the Remain campaign
Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party dedicated to ending British jurisdiction over Northern Ireland, immediately announced that the Brexit results justified a united Ireland. The Republic of Ireland remains a member of the E.U., so when Britain leaves the union, the Emerald Isle will now have a new line of partition.
“English votes have overturned the democratic will of Northern Ireland,” Declan Kearney, Sinn Fein’s national chairman, said in a statement Friday morning.
“This British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland.”
In Wales, First Minister Carwyn Jones was quick to express displeasure with the vote. In a statement, Jones said that the referendum was grounds for an entire re-working of the relationships within the United Kingdom, putting the country into “entirely different footing.”
J.K. Rowling, the Scottish author of the bestselling Harry Potter books, tweeted on Friday that Scotland will surely “seek independence now.”
In 2014, Rowling had donated 1 million pounds ($1.38 million) against the cause of Scottish independence, arguing for the continued union of Great Britain.
“Cameron’s legacy will be breaking up two unions,” she wrote Friday of the British Prime Minister. “Neither needed to happen.”
Read more

Britain shocks world: breaks with European Union, British leader steps down 24JUN16

THE U.K. votes to leave the E.U. / European Union. Ignorance, greed and racism won this vote, and the Brits will pay for it. Is this a warning for the American electorate and Democratic and republican parties? It is, because the same tactics are being used by donald drumpf in his campaign for the presidency. BRexit leaders played the poor and working classes against immigrants and the establishment (of which they are part of), manipulating economic insecurity and latent racism and bigotry in their campaign. The vote to leave the E.U. reflects the real Britain, a little island with a  majority of xenophobic, nationalistic, racist, bigoted and extremely ignorant people who think they are superior to the rest of the world, the imperial, empire mentality. They will soon discover they are not all they think they are. THIS is where the warning about donald drumpf comes in. He is not offering any plan or policies to improve the lives of the poor, working class or middle class, to address and eliminate the economic insecurity still plaguing the nation after the 2008 recession. He plays different groups of people against each other, poor vs rich, minorities vs white, intellectuals vs less educated (this doesn't mean intellectuals vs stupid), liberals vs conservatives, Christians vs all other faiths. He lies, distorts the truth, manipulates fear and latent racism and bigotry and deceives to make people believe all others not like them are conspiring against them. If donald drumpf wins the presidency the result will be the economic establishment, the 1%, will profit greatly at the expense of all Americans, including those who elected him. Just as the people of the U.K. will pay  economically for voting to leave the E.U., so too the American people will pay economically if drumpf is elected president. From the +Washington Post .....
Britain shocks world: breaks with European Union, British leader steps down

 British voters defied their leaders and international allies by cutting ties with the European Union in a stunning result Friday that threw financial markets into chaos, forced Britain’s prime minister to resign and unleashed a new independence quest by Scotland.
As Britain absorbed the earth-shaking news, the political fallout reached to the highest level with Prime Minister David Cameron saying he would step down after championing the campaign to remain in the European Union.
Just hours later, a leader in heavily pro-E.U. Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said she will push for its own referendum to break with England and the other two partners in the United Kingdom, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A second independence referendum, following a defeated vote in 2014, is “highly likely,” said Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister. Calls to break away were echoed by nationalists in Northern Ireland.
In an emotional address outside 10 Downing Street, Cameron said the country now deserved “fresh leadership” in the face of the rejection in Thursday’s referendum. Cameron, who enjoys a close relationship with President Obama, said he hoped a new prime minister could be in place by October.
The decision effectively delays the start of divorce proceedings with Britain’s 27 other E.U. partners. Cameron said that only after the transition in leadership would the country begin the formal process of withdrawing from the European Union — popularly known as Brexit — which is supposed to take two years once it officially begins.
But even as the steps for a British departure were put on hold, immediate shock waves resonated in all directions.
The British pound plummeted to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, and stock markets dropped sharply around the world.
The market gyrations prompted Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to try to calm investors with a statement asserting that the bank was "well prepared" for the referendum’s outcome. The central bank, Carney said, was ready to intervene to prop up the economy.
In his comments, Cameron also sought to offer reassurances to jittery markets, calling Britain’s economy “fundamentally sound” and saying there would be no immediate changes in the status of immigrants in the country.
"I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months," he said with his wife Samantha standing at his side. "But I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."
After his announcement, Cameron was driven later Friday morning to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the queen.
Cameron's decision to step down injects immediate internal political tumult into a moment that was already riddled with uncertainties and upheaval.
It set off an instant contest to replace him, with former London Mayor Boris Johnson — a leading campaigner in the anti-E.U. campaign — considered the odds-on favorite.
An uncharacteristically serious and even somber Johnson told reporters he was “sad” about Cameron's resignation. He described Cameron, a longtime friend and rival, as "one of the most extraordinary politicians of our age."
The mop-haired Johnson did not say whether he would seek Cameron's job. He did praise voters for rejecting the European Union, which he described as "a noble idea for its time" but one that "is no longer right for this country."
Cameron's successor will not be picked by the general public, but instead in an internal process by his Conservative Party.
It is highly likely that whoever is picked will be further to the political right than Cameron. Since coming to office in 2010, Cameron had sought to move his party toward the political center, championing gay marriage and taking a softer line on immigration than some in the party had sought. But his repudiation over the European Union — fueled by an anti-immigration backlash — will likely leave the party’s right-wing ascendant.
Johnson was mobbed outside his house in north London early Friday, with some cheering him but far more jeering a man who many pro-E.U. Londoners blame for the outcome of Thursday's referendum. "Shame on you!" some yelled.
Bicyclists later tried to block Johnson's car as it made its way through the city's center.
The vote result will rattle officials in Washington. Obama had made a high-profile plea for Britain to stay. He was briefed on the results of the referendum, the White House said, and was expected to speak to Cameron in the next day. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who was in Scotland on Friday to open a golf course, backed Brexit.
Asked by reporters about the vote as he toured his course to the tune of bag pipes, Trump on Friday called it "a great thing."
"They took back their country," said Trump, who sported a white "Make America Great Again" cap. "That's a great thing."
The referendum is perhaps the most dramatic to date in a wave of populist and nationalist uprisings occurring on both sides of the Atlantic that are overturning traditional notions of what is politically possible.
It also will have a profound effect on the European Union, which will lose a major military and diplomatic power within its ranks. “This looks to be a sad day for Europe and for Britain,” said Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
For months, Britain’s political and economic elite had looked on with growing apprehension as the country flirted with a choice — popularly known as Brexit — that experts had warned could lead to global recession and a rip in the Western alliance. The vote could also lead to Scottish secession and raised the stakes for a possible broader E.U. unraveling.
But most analysts had predicted this pragmatically minded country would ultimately back away from the move, and opt to keep Britain in an organization regarded as a pillar of the global economic and political order.
Instead, a majority of British voters heeded the call of pro-Brexit campaigners to liberate the nation from what many here regard as an oppressive Brussels bureaucracy that enables mass migration into the country.
“Let June the 23rd go down in our history as our independence day!” cried a jubilant Nigel Farage, a firebrand anti-E.U. leader, in a 4 a.m. celebration. All around him, “leave” campaigners clinked pints of beer and cheered their improbable victory.
When polls closed six hours earlier, Farage had all but conceded defeat, saying he believed “remain” had won. But as results poured in through Thursday night and into the early hours of Friday, the “remain” camp was increasingly despairing.
About a third of results had yet to be counted as of 4 a.m. local time. But the BBC reported that “leave” had taken an insurmountable lead.
In the end, "leave" won by more than a million votes -- out of some 33 million cast, or nearly three-quarters of eligible voters. In percentage terms, the 52-48 pro-Brexit split was the inverse of what final opinion polls had predicted.
The results came after 15 hours of voting, from the remote Scottish isles to the tip of Gibraltar. The outcome revealed vast divides — with massive victory margins for “remain” in thriving metropolitan centers such as London and equally resounding victories for “leave” in small towns, rural areas and struggling, post-industrial cities.
In television interviews, “remain” supporters looked stricken and predicted catastrophe.
“God help our country,” tweeted Paddy Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader and an outspoken E.U. advocate.
The “leave” campaign found a compelling rallying cry with its call for voters to “Take Back Control,” a slogan that resonated among an electorate ill at ease with record levels of immigration — much of it from Europe under the E.U.’s free-movement policy.
Polls suggested that “leave” alienated some voters with its reliance on what critics saw as increasingly nativist rhetoric. That was particularly true after the killing last week of pro-E.U. lawmaker Jo Cox, a murder that appeared to awaken a passion in “remain” supporters that had been previously lacking.
A “leave” lead last week in the polls diminished, and the race turned into a dead heat. Surveys released Thursday as Britons voted had shown “remain” with a clear edge, results that cheered investors and boosted markets across Europe and Asia.
The vote split the country along essential lines: Old versus young. Provincial versus metropolitan. Scotland versus England. Native-born Britons versus immigrants.
Those divisions may only be hardened by Thursday's result, and could be heightened further if an avowed Euroskeptic comes to office at 10 Downing Street.
The pause before the start of E.U. negotiations will give pro-leave Tories -- who will now effectively call the shots in Britain even as Cameron stays on as a caretaker -- the chance to form a common position on what they want Britain to look like post-Brexit.
During months of campaigning, pro-Brexit leaders unleashed fevered attacks on Brussels, but offered no common, detailed vision of how the country could succeed outside the bloc.
But Johnson said that whatever the outcome, Britain would not turn inward.
"We cannot turn our backs on Europe. We are part of Europe," he said. "Britain will continue to be a great European power."