The result has also raised questions about the future of the UK itself.
While the majority of people in England and Wales voted to leave the EU, Scotland and Northern Ireland largely voted to remain.
Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon already vowed to organise a second Scottish referendum on independence from the UK in the event of England voting to leave and Scotland voting to stay.
Scots previously voted to remain part of the UK in a referendum in late 2014 in a tightly contested race, but that was partly because they were worried that separation from the UK would have resulted in their ejection from the EU.
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a member of the pro-Irish Sinn Féin party, has also called for a poll on what to do with the country’s borders with the Republic of Ireland, raising the prospect unifying the north and the south of the island.
Sinn Fein’s national chairman Declan Kearney on Friday morning said Northern Ireland’s status in the UK was now in “sharp focus.”
“We have a situation where the north is going to be dragged out on the tails of a vote in England,” he said.
“That is a huge democratic deficit for our society, building on the existing democratic deficit of partition.
The British Government have now forfeited its mandate to represent the north of Ireland in relation to the European Union.
“We now have a situation where Brexit has become a further cost of partition, a further cost of the Union and Sinn Fein will now press our demand, our long standing demand, for a border poll.”
The Irish government in Dublin called an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday to discuss the result, following which the Irish prime minister will make a public statement.
Ireland’s central bank had warned that a withdrawal would hurt economic growth and jobs and significantly impact the financial sector, while a government-commissioned report found it could cut trade with Britain by at least 20 percent.
Contrary to most of England, the UK’s capital city London also overwhelmingly voted to remain part of the EU, with 2,263,519 Londoners voting to remain as opposed to 1,513,232 who voted to leave.
There are even suggestions that an independence movement for a Greater London could emerge in reaction to the result.
Early on Friday morning a new page for a ‘London Independence Party’ was created on Twitter, with calls for an independent city-state going viral on social media.
More generally, the result of the referendum will see strong reverberations in British politics.
The centre-left opposition Labour Party, which strongly backed the Remain campaign, is expected to review its policies in the wake of the poll.
Meanwhile, former London mayor and Conservative Party member Boris Johnson, one of the most outspoken supporters of Brexit, has been highly tipped to replace outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron.
The result has also been to the liking of Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic UK Independence Party, which despite only winning one seat in last year’s general election came third with 12.6 percent of the vote.
Farage welcomed the result.
“This will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people … Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day.”