Umbrella Company Employees are waking with their fellow Britons on the day after the EU referendum to the seismic news that the electorate has voted to sever its 43-year membership of the European Union.
At final count, 51.9 per cent of voters opted for a Brexit, while 48.1 percent voted to stay.
The pound immediately plummeted to a 30-year low as the news broke, setting a new intraday swing record of over ten per cent between its highest and lowest value. Meanwhile, FTSE 100 futures dived by 8.7 per cent, and the FTSE 250 index crashed by a massive 11.7 per cent.
According to the Financial Times, rating agency S&P has already declared that Britain is now almost certain to lose its triple-A credit rating, while the Bank of England said that it would “take all necessary steps to meet its responsibilities for monetary and financial stability.”
In a dignified but emotional speech outside No. 10 Downing Street, David Cameron, who led the cross-party “Remain” campaign, announced that he would step down as Prime Minister in the wake of the result and indicated that a new Prime Minister should be in place by the time of the next Tory Party Conference in October.
The Scottish National Party has declared that, in the event of a Brexit outcome, it would demand the power to call a second independence referendum. Scotland voted to remain in the EU by a large margin, as did Northern Ireland and London. A statement from Sinn Fein is expected later today, calling for a break from the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the result, YouGov spokesman Marcus Roberts said: “The gap between the metropolitan, cosmopolitan, middle-class voters and working-class social conservatives has now grown so great that it simply cannot be ignored.”
The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, cautioned against “hysteria” about the Brexit vote, stating that there would be “no legal vacuum” because EU law would continue to apply to the UK until it formally left.
His remarks were echoed by the Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Kevin Green, who said that while “nothing will change overnight,” the “Leave” vote will nonetheless usher in a “challenging period” for British businesses and the labour market.
Green referred to data collected by the REC indicating a slowdown in hiring in the months leading to the referendum. That uncertainty, he said, is likely to continue in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Recent REC surveys have suggested that employers had grown wary about hiring permanent staff in anticipation of the upheaval of a Brexit vote, preferring instead to rely on temporary/contracting workers to complete business-critical projects and manage fluctuations in demand.