British PM David Cameron announces he will resign after country votes to leave EU

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he will resign his position following the loss of the referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.

"The people have been voted and their will must be respected," Cameron told the media outside No 10 Downing Street.

"I would assure those people and those markets that Britain's economy is strong.

David Cameron announces he will resign from the British prime ministership by October after voters decided to leave the EU. Source: PA Wire

"We must now prepare for a negotiation with the EU."

Having taken a view counter to the will of the people, Cameron said he would step down from the job and allow new leadership to take charge as the UK begins to part ways with Europe.

"Will require strong determined and committed leadership," he said, before going on to say that leader should not be him.

A new captain is needed: David Cameron announces he will resign as PM. Source: Getty

"The British people, have made a very clear decision to take a different path.

"I will do everything I can as prime minister to steer the ship over the next weeks and months.

"But I do not think that it would be right for me to try to be the captain who steers this country to its next destination."

Cameron announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street, London as his wife Samantha looks on. Source: PA Wire

Cameron announced he would "steady the ship" and stay on as leader until October when the Conservative Party meets for its national conference.

The Tory leader had staked his reputation on keeping Britain in the EU.

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, the most prominent supporter of the "leave" campaign, is now seen as a leading contender to replace Cameron.

An aide working in Cameron's office said on Friday that Britain was now in uncharted territory after the country looked set to vote to leave the European Union.

Leading anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage reportedly called for British Prime Minister David Cameron resignation
Prime Minister David Cameron, who campaigned for Britain to Remain in the EU, is feeling pressure to resign from leadership following the Brexit decision. Picture: Reuters/Toby Melville

"We're in uncharted territory," an aide working in the prime minister's office told reporters. "Everyone's just really tired. They haven't slept."

Ahead of the Brexit announcement, key Leave campaigner Nigel Farage called for the PM's resignation.

The leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage celebrates the outcome. Photo: Reuters

The anti-EU campaigner and leader of the UK Independence Party promised Brexit would allow Britons the chance to retake power from Brussels and rein in high immigration.

"Let June 23 go down in our history as our independence day," he said.

While almost half Cameron’s Conservative Party MPs voiced their support of an EU split, at least 86 of the said he he had a duty to continue on, The Times of London reported.

Celebrations begin after the Leave campaign triumphs in the referendum. Photo: AFP

Ryan Goss of the Australian National University Law School told News Corp it would be difficult for the PM to retain the confidence of his Conservative Party colleagues if Leave won.

“The Leave campaign was led by potential leadership rivals, including former London Mayor Boris Johnson. If Leave won, (Cameron) may have had no choice but to resign.”

Photo: Getty

“If the Prime Minister loses this I don’t see how he can survive as prime minister,” said Scottish National Party politician Alex Salmond.

“Talk about lame ducks. This would be a duck with no legs and no stability whatsoever.”