NPR News

People talk about a flash of inspiration. But Xavier Helgesen's eureka moment came in the dark.

A few years ago, the American entrepreneur was traveling through Malawi to meet with clients for his book-selling company, Better World Books. He stopped in Monkey Bay, a town of about 30,000 people, to spend the night. What made this place unforgettable, he says, was that it was "100 percent off-grid."

The decision is made and now comes the long and complicated job of decoupling the U.K. from the European Union. On paper, there is a tangled legal process, but it has never been tested and leaves some issues unaddressed.

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union was historic, significant, unprecedented and decisive — but it wasn't uniform.

It was split by age: Young people overwhelmingly voted to stay, while older generations preferred to leave. It was split by education, with university-educated voters far more likely to be pro-EU.

By a 52-48 percent margin, the popular vote in the United Kingdom last night moved to detach the country from the European Union.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron was at his political peak just last year as he led his Conservative Party to an outright majority in Parliament for the first time in more than two decades, surpassing all the forecasts.

Today, his political career is effectively over, the result of another surprise at the ballot box — the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union.

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