The Latest News on Brexit

The Latest News on Brexit

The Latest News on Brexit

LONDON (AP) -- The latest on Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union (all times local):

10:35 p.m.

Tens of thousands want a do-over. So many users are signing a petition for a re-run of Britain's referendum on European Union membership that they've crashed the House of Commons website hosting the document.

The petition passed the 200,000 mark on Friday evening, with a map of the voting indicating that most activity was in London - where most boroughs backed the "remain" camp in the referendum.

The House of Commons said it had seen "high volumes of simultaneous users on a single petition, significantly higher than on any previous occasion."

A second referendum isn't in the cards for now, but experts say it isn't out of the question if those who back a British exit begin suffering from buyer's remorse.

10:20 p.m.

Ratings agency Moody's has changed the U.K.'s sovereign rating from "stable" to "negative," reflecting what it said would be a drawn-out period of uncertainty about the future of the country.

Moody's said in a note that the unpredictability of British decision-making factored into its move, as did the likelihood of lower economic growth which it said would outweigh any savings the U.K. might hope to get from savings coming from not having to contribute to the EU budget.

"Over the longer term, should the U.K. not be able to secure a favorable alternative trade arrangement with the EU and other countries, the UK's growth prospects would be materially weaker than currently expected," the note said.

9:50 p.m.

The U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union threatens to make the country less appealing as a hub for shipping products throughout Europe. Inc., for instance, currently uses the U.K. as a major distribution hub. Outsell analyst Michael Balsam says Amazon and other tech companies handling physical goods may re-evaluate their distribution channels if it becomes more difficult to ship across borders.

Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy believes U.K. merchants who use Amazon as an online sales outlet are more likely than the company to be hurt by any cross-border delays.

Amazon declined to comment. The Seattle company generates nearly one-third of its sales in Europe, where it operates in 16 countries.

Supply chain specialist MWPVL says Amazon has about 10 distribution centers and 20 smaller centers that sort packages in the U.K. before they're sent to local post offices. That's a sliver of Amazon's nearly 300 distribution centers throughout the world.

Beyond distribution hubs, some U.S. companies might move operations out of Britain altogether.

Crawford del Prete, a longtime tech industry analyst with IDC, says banks and financial services companies are expected to make that move, and companies that sell computers and software to them are likely to follow to stay close to their customers.

9:45 p.m.

In recent years, the European Union has been taking a strong stance limiting how much personal information that U.S. internet companies such as Google and Facebook can collect from Europeans.

Stricter rules will take effect in 2018. Outsell analyst Michael Balsam believes the U.K.'s exit from the EU could make the new rules more difficult to enforce, at least among Britons.

But Jules Polonetsky, CEO of the industry-backed think tank Future of Privacy Forum, says the implications at this point are "completely unknowable."

While Polonetsky says the U.K. will lose its moderating influence on online privacy in Europe, it's possible the U.K. would remain in the EU for the purposes of data protection through treaties and deals.

Meanwhile, research firm Fssorrester says, uncertainty will impede companies' quest for insights based on personal data.

9:25 p.m.

Germany's foreign ministry is promising to keep working for a better Europe --- but only after it's had a few drinks.

The ministry posted on its Twitter account Friday evening: "We are off now to an Irish pub to get decently drunk. And from tomorrow on we will again work for a better #Europe! Promised! #EURef."

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to meet five of his European Union counterparts in Berlin on Saturday after Britain voted to leave the 28-nation EU.

9:10 p.m.

The U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union will create more challenges for retailers, with analysts seeing luxury sellers taking the biggest hit.

Hana Ben-Shabat, a partner at A.T. Kearney, says any increased trade barriers could lead to higher costs in Britain. Plus, if large banks move operations elsewhere in Europe, she said that "could impact sales of luxury goods significantly, since many luxury consumers are employed by this industry."

In the U.S., stores like Tiffany and Macy's that draw a lot of British tourists to their flagship New York stores could be among those hurt. Foreign visitors account for 40 percent of Tiffany's flagship business, says Cowen and Co. At the main Macy's store, that figure is 5 percent.

Global retailers like Wal-Mart and Hennes & Mauritz that have a large U.K. presence could be hurt by currency effects and the general uncertainty. Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail group at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, believes Wal-Mart's Asda division will find tougher conditions but will manage because of its size.

Steve Barr at PwC says that overall, any prolonged declines in the stock market could make shoppers wary about spending.

The good news for U.S. shoppers? More European retailers may look to expand in the U.S. Consolo noted many messages from businesses looking to accelerate their growth in the U.S. "They're thinking, 'Where can I land to do the best for the company?"

9:05 p.m.

Restaurant companies with a significant presence in the U.K. and Europe could be hurt by currency effects as well as weakness in consumer confidence after Britain's vote to leave the European Union, according to an RBC Capital Markets analyst.

David Palmer noted that the U.S. restaurant companies with the most exposure to the United Kingdom and Europe are McDonald's Corp., and to a lesser degree Yum Brands Inc. and Starbucks Corp.

The pound plunged to its lowest level in over 30 years on Friday after the vote.

Starbucks has 850 stores in Britain, its largest market in Europe.

Spokeswoman Linda Mills of Starbucks said it's too soon to say how the chain might be affected but Starbucks remains "fully committed to the U.K.," where it's pursuing significant growth plans.

PepsiCo declined to comment. McDonald's and Yum did not respond to messages.

Coca-Cola said in a statement it has a long history of adapting to political landscapes, and that this would be no different. The Atlanta company said its belief in its growth opportunity in Great Britain and the European Union remains unchanged.

9:00 p.m.

Left-wing and anti-racism activists have held rallies to protest Britain's vote to leave the EU and send a message of welcome to migrants.

Several hundred people rallied in a park in Whitechapel in east London, an area that has been home to successive generations of new immigrants to London. They held placards saying "No to racism" and "Refugees welcome here."

A similar demonstration was held in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

A group of the London marchers --- some wearing masks and waving flares --- moved on to protest near the offices of the Sun newspaper, which enthusiastically bashed the EU for years and urged its readers to vote to leave the bloc in Thursday's referendum.

Immigration was a major issue in the referendum because the EU allows citizens of all 28 member states to live and work freely in the others. Some "remain" campaigners said the concerns about pressure on jobs and public services from immigration masked darker xenophobic views.

8:55 p.m.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has put forth a dramatic proposal to change some of the European Union's basic machinery.

Sarkozy suggested Friday the EU should create a new treaty, a new borderless travel accord and trim the reach of technocrats in the bloc.

Sarkozy, a conservative, said in a declaration that a re-founding of the EU is needed after the British referendum to leave.

"The British message is exploding in the face of all European governments," Sarkozy said.

He said he wants to replace the Treaty of Lisbon that he signed off on and that took effect after years of laborious negotiations in December 2009.

Sarkozy also wants a redo of the borderless Schengen accords with a "Schengen 2" that limits free circulation to European citizens only. He also wants a European monetary fund to "assure the independence of Europe which has no need for the IMF to deal with its internal affairs."

Presenting his map for a reformed EU of 27 member states, he pressed "pillars" he leaned on as French president from 2007-2012 to keep the far right at bay --- European civilization, a European identity and culture, and added a reduction in the EU's often dreaded technocracy.

"We no longer want a technocratic Europe. Democracy has rules," said Sarkozy.

8:25 p.m.

Tech-industry officials and analysts are divided over how the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union will affect legal battles on personal privacy, corporate tax rates and competition.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association, a trade group that includes Microsoft, Facebook and Google, is worried the withdrawal will deprive the EU of a "leading light" for a free market, potentially making the continent a "more hostile place" to do business.

But Outsell analyst Michael Balsam believes U.S. tech companies will have an easier time lobbying for their causes more directly with U.K. lawmakers.

Google is being accused by the EU's chief antitrust regulator of using its dominant internet search engine to thwart competition by driving traffic to its own digital services. Google and other companies also face allegations they haven't been paying their fair share of taxes in various EU countries, including in Britain. Google declined comment.

8:15 p.m.

Britain's decision to leave the European Union has dampened some spirits at the Glastonbury Festival, the country's leading summer music extravaganza.

Some festivalgoers felt the vote sat awkwardly with an event dedicated to togetherness, which draws 150,000 people from around the world to sylvan but muddy Worthy Farm in southwest England.

Jonnie Bevan, 21, said he was "pretty disappointed --- Glastonbury's vision of unity doesn't really seem to fit with this. We've said we are just going to have a good time and not think about it for the moment. We are here to enjoy ourselves so we will deal with the reality on Monday."

Rachel Hawkins said she was "a bit speechless" at the result of the vote. The 25-year-old said it was a blow to people her age, "the generation who are all trying to get jobs post 2008 when we were still in the middle of a recession ... Now our generation is going to go through another recession and the same difficulty again."

The festival runs to Sunday, with headliners including Muse, Adele and Coldplay.

7:30 p.m.

Britain has voted to leave the EU but London wants to stay --- and some are suggesting the capital city should go its own way.

While 52 percent of British electors voted to leave the European Union, a majority of voters in London wished to remain.

After the result, Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a statement telling the 1 million EU citizens in London "you are very welcome here."

Some Londoners urged the mayor to declare independence, rallying on social media under the hashtag #londependence.

Columnist Holly Baxter wrote in The Independent that "London didn't vote for this, and Londoners should go it alone." And former Labour government adviser Spencer Livermore tweeted "Independence for London within the EU should now be our goal. We would have a GDP twice as large as Singapore."

Khan didn't go that far, but he said that it was "crucial that London has a voice at the table" during Britain's exit negotiations with the EU.

7:05 p.m.

U.K. technology startups, already hampered by a conservative banking environment, could face a tougher time raising money without access to funds that had been jointly financed by the European Union.

Mark Mulligan, a media analyst at London-based Midia Research, says replacing access to such funds with British alternatives "could take a couple of years, which is a lifetime in the startup world."

One such fund, The North West Fund, has so far invested 150 million pounds in 440 British companies. For example, it helped South Manchester-based digital music startup Beatroot Ltd. launch last year with a 250,000-pound investment.

The fund is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and European Investment Bank under the European Commission's "JEREMIE" program to help small businesses.

6:55 p.m.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin says that "no one can say that this shock won't have consequences" on European growth, but it surely will have a damaging effect on Britain's economy.

"There will be very grave consequences for Great Britain," Sapin told reporters Friday after the British referendum to leave the 28-member European Union. He urged London to quickly let others know when it wants to exit "to give visibility to economic actors."

"This is not meant to be brutal, but the collective interest is that things move quickly," Sapin said.

For the moment, consequences for the Eurozone are "extremely limited ... but this calm may perhaps not last."

6:30 p.m.

An organization of the world's central banks says it's confident that market uncertainty following Britain's vote to leave the European Union can be contained with good global cooperation.

The Bank for International Settlements said in a statement Friday that "there is likely to be a period of uncertainty and adjustment." It noted that Britain is closely integrated into the global economy and London is one of the world's most important financial centers.

The Basel, Switzerland-based organization said: "With good cooperation at a global level, we are confident that uncertainty can be contained and that adjustments proceed as smoothly as possible."

6:15 p.m.

Talk about procrastinating: Google says a leading question in the U.K. on Friday was, "What is the EU?"

"What is the EU?" was perhaps something to consider --- and Google --- before Britons voted themselves out of the European Union. Yet it's the second-highest question on the European Union among U.K. Google users since the results of the country's referendum were announced.

"What is the EU?" will certainly mean something different now that one of its most powerful and largest members has decided to leave.

Among other questions U.K. users pondered Friday, at least when it comes to the EU, include "What does it mean to leave the EU?" and "What will happen now (that) we've left the EU?"

5:55 p.m.

The International Air Transport Association said in a preliminary estimate Friday that the number of U.K. air passengers could be down 3 percent to 5 percent by 2020, driven by an economic downturn and fall in the value of the pound.

The British aviation market is dominated by outbound traffic, with such traffic accounting for just over two-thirds of all passengers, according to airline trade group. Last year, there were 53.9 million visits overseas by air by U.K. residents, compared to 26.2 million visits to the UK by overseas residents.

The economic impact would be offset partially by an expected increase in visitors to the U.K. attracted by the cheaper pound. The British currency fell to a 31-year low on Friday.


5:40 p.m.

Britain's ambassador to the United Nations says the United Kingdom will remain "a world power" and "a diplomatic power" despite the vote to leave the European Union.

Matthew Rycroft told several reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday that "this is a significant moment for the UK, for the British people and for the UK's role in the world."

"The fundamentals of the UK's strength in the world will endure," Rycroft stressed, pointing to "our economy, our world-class diplomacy, armed forces, our commitment to international development, helping the world's poorest, and above all here at the United Nations our permanent seat on the Security Council."

5:30 p.m.

An extreme right political party in Greece has hailed Britain's referendum result to leave the European Union as a victory for nationalism across Europe.

Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the Golden Dawn party, called for a similar vote to be held in Greece.

"Golden Dawn welcomes the victory of the nationalist and patriotic forces in Great Britain against the European Union, which has turned into a brutal instrument of international loan sharks," he said in a statement.

Once a tiny far-right group which openly praised Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, Golden Dawn's popularity surged during the country's severe financial crisis to become the third largest party in Greece's parliament.

Michaloliakos and other senior party officials are currently on trial for allegedly running a criminal organization.