British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he will be stepping down from his position by October following the major national referendum in which British citizens voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the European Union.
"The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected," Cameron said on Friday morning. "The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage celebrated the results as U.K.'s "Independence Day," while U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called it a "great thing."
"I think it's a great thing that's happened. It's an amazing vote, very historic," Trump said during a visit to Scotland for the reopening of one of his golf resorts.
"People are angry all over the world. They're angry over borders, they're angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are," he added.
"They're angry about many, many things in the U.K., the U.S. and many other places. This will not be the last."
The EU's open borders policy, which has led to a flood of immigration, has been one of the main issues surrounding the referendum, but so have questions of self-governance and independence.
Farage, who has been campaigning against Britain's membership in the EU for decades, called the union a "failed project," but was happy that the decision to leave was made "without a single bullet being fired."
"The EU is failing, the EU is dying, I hope that we've got the first brick out of the wall," the UKIP leader said.
"We need the negotiations to start as soon as humanly possible, we need to start thinking globally about our future," he added.
Cameron, who had been confident that the "Remain" campaign would win, indicated he will step aside and allow Britain's next leader to guide the country.
"I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, 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," he said.
European leaders meanwhile reacted to the results of the referendum by vowing they will do everything possible to keep the EU together despite the significant blow.
"This is not a moment for hysterical reactions. Today on behalf of the 27 leaders I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as 27," said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.
"Until the U.K. formally leaves the EU, EU law will continue to apply to and within the U.K., and by this I mean rights, as well as obligations," Tusk added.
"The past years have been the most difficult ones in the history of our union, but my father used to tell me: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, added: "Now is the time for us to behave seriously and responsibly. We have our responsibilities for the future of the EU. You can see what is happening to sterling on the markets. I don't want the same thing to happen to the euro."
Anti-EU leaders on the other hand hailed the results, and called for national referendums on EU membership in their own countries as well.
"Hurrah for the British! Now it is our turn. Time for a Dutch referendum!" said Geert Wilders, Dutch Freedom Party leader.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National in France, added: "Victory for freedom! As I have been asking for years, now we need to have the same referendum in France and in the countries of the EU."