There are now fears the vote could set off a chain reaction of further breakaway bids by other EU members battling hostility to Brussels. There are also worries that the outcome could pave the way for the break-up of the UK itself after Scotland raised the prospect of another independence vote.
Fortunately or unfortunately, highlighting the discord, a petition demanding a second EU referendum had gathered more than 550,000 signatures late on Friday.
Amid the turmoil, sterling hit a 31-year low in its biggest intraday percentage fall on record and Prime Minister David Cameron said he would step down by October.
The fallout started immediately: the pound collapsed, prompting recession fears, and by the end of the day Brexit panic had wiped $2tn off the world economy.
The British vote to leave the European Union has brought the British pound down to a 31-year low, meaning UK house prices are now cheaper for foreign investors, buying in foreign currency.
Tour operators in India say they expect a sharp rise in the number of travellers to the UK because the pound's depreciation make these destinations cheaper in a post Brexit scenario.