– ‘Independence Day’ –
The often acrimonious, deeply emotional campaign has exposed a gulf among Britons on membership of Europe.
The Thursday editions of British newspapers captured the drama of voting day. “Independence day” was the headline of the pro-Brexit Sun, while the Times called it a “Day of reckoning”.
Leading Brexit backer Boris Johnson, a former London mayor who is widely touted as a future prime minister, insisted the “Leave” campaign was on the brink of victory.
“I do think that we are on the verge, possibly, of an extraordinary event in the history of our country and indeed in the whole of Europe,” Johnson said in eastern England in a final scramble for support on Wednesday.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who has staked his political legacy on the referendum, implored people to vote to stay in the bloc at a final rally in Birmingham on the eve of voting.
“Winston Churchill didn’t give up on European democracy… and we shouldn’t walk away,” he said.
“Our economy will suffer if we leave,” he warned.