BELGRADE – Brexit supporters have gained enough votes to secure the victory in the historic referendum held to decide on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the bloc. The leave side has secured a win with a total of 16.99 million votes against the 15.8 million who voted to stay in the union.

Britain has voted by 52 percent against 48 percent to leave the European Union. The turnout amounted to 71.8 percent with nearly 33 million people casting their ballots.

Britons went to the polls on Thursday to decide on a referendum that will decide whether or not the United Kingdom should in the European Union.

The question that was asked is “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” Voters had to tick a box either next to “Remain a member of the European Union,” or “Leave the European Union” option.

Brexit supporters argued that EU membership has diminished the country’s independence to legislate, direct its economy and control its borders. Opponents warned that leaving the bloc could severely harm the UK economy.