You've probably never heard of these dishes

“Norway being as long as it is, being as untouched as it in nature, you have things here that are unique.

“For me it was mind-blowing. I saw the way they preserved fish, meat and I just thought I’ve never seen this before.”

Norway’s distinctive cuisine has been shaped by its 100,000-kilometer coastline, by its long winters and brief summers, by the forests that cover a third of its surface, and by the mountains that cut west off from east.

Here are 18 of Norway’s greatest — and strangest — specialties.

1. Smalahove

“You have to try it once in your life. This is amazing thing,” says Eirik Braek, owner of Oslo deli Fenaknoken, holding up a whole sheep’s head.

Fenaknoken is an Aladdin’s cave of cured, dried and salted delicacies, with hams strung from the ceiling like chandeliers, and Braek is a charming and enthusiastic host, giving all visitors to his shop a tasting tour of Norwegian food history.

Smalahove — literally sheep’s head — is a Christmas treat in Western Norway.

“You start with the eyes,” says Braek, because the fatty areas taste better warm. “This one you have to serve hot.”

2. Great Scallop

“The sea is something we live off now and it’s something that we lived on for centuries,” says Holmboe Bang. “There’s a strong belonging to the sea.”

The cold waters mean seafood takes longer to grow, making the flesh is extra plump and tender.

In the Norway episode of “Culinary Journeys,” Holmboe Bang and Maaemo’s diver Roderick Sloan feast on “salty, intensely sweet” Great Scallops, served in their shell with reindeer moss and juniper.

People love fish so much, says Braek, that they’ll drink Omega 3 at Christmas to line their stomachs pre-revelry: “Just a small scoop. You can have more alcohol, maybe.”

3. Mahogany clam

The world’s oldest animal ever is said to be a sprightly little bivalve mollusk by the name of Ming, who was dredged off the coast of Iceland in 2006 and estimated to be 507 years old.

The ones found off Norway’s northern coast will usually have been chilling in the Arctic depths for 150 to 200 years.

Says Roderick Sloan: “My job is like going to the moon every day.

“When I’m on the bottom, I only have two sounds: the sound of my heart and the sound of my breath.”

4. Dried everything

“In Norway we dry everything, because we have to,” says Braek. “We did this to survive in the future. We salted and dried things.”

Holmboe Bang agrees.

Fermenting, pickling, salting, curing, smoking: “It’s all about trying to prolong summer, it’s about making the taste of summer last.

“We’ve developed these intensely special, completely different flavor profile than the produce has in the summer, but that’s for us the taste of winter.”

“People did this for thousands of years,” he adds.

“When you think about the way people had to survive, you had to preserve your fish, you had to think ‘I have to stock up my larder for the winter, otherwise me and my family are going to die’… We don’t have that mentality any more.

“I feel like now we live in a society where everything is available all the time, and that’s a blessing and a curse.”

5. Klippfisk

Klippfisk — literally “cliff fish” — is dried and salted cod, in a tradition dating back to the 17th century.

In the “Culinary Journeys” video above, Holmboe Bang is schooled in the method by Nordskot expert Erling Heckneby.

6. Cod tongues

The season for fresh fish is January to April, says Braek.

Skrei — or cod — is one of Norway’s greatest exports but one specialty that hasn’t been such a hit abroad is cod tongue.

The cut is less the actual tongue than the underside of the cod chin, should you find “cod chin” sounds more appealing.

The best way to wrap your lips round some cod tongue is to toss them in seasoned flour and fry them in butter.

7. Gamalost

Gamalost means “old cheese” — and this is one that was actually eaten by Vikings.

It’s a hard, crumbly brownish-yellow cheese with a sharp, intense flavor and a pungent scent to match.

“Some people love it, some people hate it,” says Braek.

Those who really love it can join the annual Gamalost Festival held in Vik in May.

“This cheese we can keep forever. This never gets old,” adds Braek, explaining that it was a Norwegian staple in the days before refrigeration.

Production is very labor-intensive, so it’s rare to find gamalost for sale outside Norway.

8. Brunost

Much easier to find than gamalost, brunost is the sweet-savory brown cheese that delights Norwegians and surprises foreigners.

It’s a goat’s cheese made from caramelized whey — giving it a sharp, sweet-sour dulce de leche taste — and its fat and sugar content is such that a truck of the stuff burnt for five days when it caught fire in a Norwegian tunnel in 2013.

Norwegians eat it on toast, with crispbread, with jam and at breakfast — though any meal will do.

A classic combo is sliced brunost on top of one of Norway’s sweetly heart-shaped waffles. They’re softer and more pliable than the Belgian variety, making them easier to fold in the hand.

At Christmas they’re eaten on toasted buttered julecake — a festive cake flavored with cardamom and dotted with fruit and candied peel.

Eirik Braek gives visitors to his deli a whistlestop tour of Norwegian food culture.

9. Reindeer and elk

Forget the Pepsi Challenge — visitors to Fenaknoken can sample dried elk and dried reindeer side by side.

“Elk is like a dry, more wild taste,” says Braek. Reindeer is a “much smaller animal so it’s much sweeter.”

Reindeer moss — so called because reindeer eat it — is a lichen found in Arctic tundra. “It’s very special to Norway,” explains Sloan. “This is where the reindeer get all their flavor from.”

It’s also sometimes used in the making of akvavit, the famous Scandinavian spirit.

10. Farikal

“This is a map of Norway,” explains Braek, holding a vacuum-packed leg of lamb and pointing out the west coast, where cuisine was influenced by the shipping trade and mixing cultures, and the isolated mountain-bound east.

“At Christmas I have about 1.5 tonnes of lamb ribs” hanging from the roof of the shop, he says, a welcome sight for homesick Norwegians returning home for the festive season.

“I have people stand here and cry. ‘I’m home!'”

Pinnejott — “stick meat” — is a festive dish of salted and dried lamb or mutton ribs, typical to the west and north.

The national dish, however is farikal, a lamb and cabbage casserole traditionally eaten in fall.

11. Cloudberries

Norway has a Willy Wonka-esque inventory of evocative berry names: cloudberries, crowberries … but sadly no snozzberries.

The ethereal cloudberry is golden-yellow and only found in the wild. Its rarity earns it the nickname Arctic gold.

They have a tart appleish flavor and are often made into jam. “If you find any, don’t tell anyone where you find them,” says Braek.

Crowberry is a black cold-climate berry found in northern Europe, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and beyond.

12. Lutefisk

If a gelatinous mix of dried fish and lye doesn’t sound appealing, you might not be alone.

When we visited the world’s only Lutefisk Museum, in Norway’s “Christmas town” of Drobok, on a sunny day in May the entire place was empty — a piscine Marie Celeste with no staff, no customers, but one forlorn pile of children’s letters to Santa.

Lutefisk is a festive specialty, made by air-drying fish, reconstituting it by soaking it in cold water for a week, then soaking it in caustic lye soda for two days.

Then, to get rid of the poisonous lye, it’s soaked in water for another couple of days.

It’s not eaten in the summertime, but out of season visitors can console themselves with a light and frothy fiskesuppe (fish soup) in the cherry blossom-shaded courtyard of the Skipperstuen restaurant opposite the Museum and Aquarium, overlooking the Oslofjord.

13. Salty liquorice

Yes, the Norwegians like salting everything so much, they even do it to their candy.

The controversial mouth-puckering treat is wildly popular in the Nordic countries and widely reviled elsewhere.

It’s an acquired taste, but if you like your aniseed strong, and your gustatory receptors tingling in tandem, it might just be the candy for you.

14. Torrfisk

Snack-sized torrfisk for dried fish on the go.

Torrfisk, or stockfish, is unsalted air-dried fish, usually cod.

It’s been “made in Norway for, people say, about 1,000 years,” says Braek.

It’s mentioned in the 13th century Icelandic work “Egil’s Saga,” when a chieftain ships stockfish from Norway to Britain in 875 AD.

As such, it was Norway’s biggest export for centuries.

15. Rakfisk

Rakfisk is salted, fermented trout, and it packs a pungent — and delicious — punch.

It’s usually fermented for two to three months, but it can be up to a year.

It’s often eaten with flatbrod (Norwegian flat bread) or lefse (potato bread), onions and sour cream.

16. King Crab

Like the sound of a King Crab safari?

A number of tour operators offer trips to Kirkenes, on the border with Russia, to hunt the Arctic King Crab between the months of December and April.

The mighty crustaceans can grow to a leg span of 1.8 meters.

17. Seagull eggs

Seagulls are arguably the most thuggish of seabirds, raised — in the UK, at least — on a diet of ketchup, French fries and stolen sandwiches.

But in late April or early May in northern Norway, locals like to eat hard-boiled seagulls’ eggs washed down with a pilsner beer from Tromso’s Mack’s brewery.

We don’t recommend you attempt to harvest any yourself — to protect the species, but also to protect yourself. Those gulls can be pretty handy when it comes to a fight.

18. Whale

Norway is one of only three countries still involved in the controversial practice of whaling, alongside Japan and Iceland.

For those who can stomach it, whale meat — or hvalkjott — is widely available and often marketed at curious tourists.

“I’ve tried whale and reindeer,” says Jen, a Canadian on a one-woman tour of Norway.

“Whale’s really good. I’m from the east coast, so we have a lot of fish but we don’t do whaling.”

As whales are mammals rather than fish, the taste is similar to a gamey meat such as venison.

Can Trump be CEO and president?

It also highlights the unprecedented prospect of a presidency riddled with conflicts of interest by a world-famous businessman.

One of Trump’s central attack lines against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton is that her family’s foundation benefited from donations by foreign governments seeking to influence the then-secretary of state. The presumptive Republican nominee slammed Clinton this week as possibly “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency” based in part on those donations.

But former presidential financial advisers and global business analysts say that Trump’s massive, international financial holdings combined with his stated plan to entrust them to his children while in office pose a much thornier set of ethical questions. As president, he would be in a position to make decisions pertaining to the federal government, economy and foreign policy that could affect his family’s bottom line.

He seemed to wade into the heart of that tension soon after his arrival in Scotland. Weighing in on U.K. voters’ choice to leave the European Union Thursday, which sent the British pound plunging, Trump said at his Turnberrry golf resort: “If the pound goes down, they’ll do more business.”

“What it will be, for sure, is a constant drama as to whether his business ventures are benefiting or being harmed by his public policy decisions,” said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics who said that having his children manage his properties wouldn’t provide a strong firewall.

The Trump campaign declined requests for comment this story.

But asked by CNN’s Sara Murray about his business holdings, he said he would cut ties with his businesses if he becomes president and their operations would be run by his children and top executives.

“I would most likely just put it in a blind trust and they would run it, or something,” he said.

Financial experts, though, have noted that one’s children and executives don’t run “blind” trusts.

There is also the issue that his money is in specific properties, noted Kenneth Gross, who has advised previous presidential candidates on how to handle their finances.

“Putting it into a blind trust doesn’t wipe out your knowledge of it. You know it’s there,” he said.

Democrats attack Trump on businesses

Trump’s corporate practices are providing fodder for Clinton and other Democrats seeking to tarnish his business credentials in the minds of voters.

On the eve of his visit to Scotland, the Democratic National Committee released a statement that the trip was “not the first time that Trump has promoted his products or properties, including steaks, water, wine and hotels, during his run for the White House.” It continued, “But like the many other businesses Trump has hyped, his developments in Scotland and Ireland have been business failures.”

A CNN/ORC poll released this week found voters indeed think Trump should start distancing himself from his private ventures. The survey reported 69% of voters — including 56% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats — say they think Trump ought to step down as chairman and president of the Trump Organization while he’s involved in politics. Only 28% think he should continue to run his eponymous company.

Whatever voters prefer, the law as it currently stands doesn’t prevent a president from continuing to act as CEO of for-profit enterprises — despite rules governing conflicts of interest for everyone from Cabinet secretaries to federal office clerks.

That raises concerns that decisions a President Trump might make in office on issues such as immigration, banking, land use or foreign ties could be colored by their impact on the personal fortunes of CEO Trump.

“We’ve never had a situation like this where the holdings of the president could create an acute conflict in carrying out his duties,” said Gross, now a lawyer with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager and Flom. “I’m really not sure how it would all play out.”

Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns, filed a personal financial disclosure form with the Federal Election Commission in May that shows income in excess of half a billion dollars, according to his campaign. In earlier filings, Trump has listed at least $1.4 billion in real estate and other assets.

Far-flung holdings

An examination of that Financial Disclosure Report reveals he has interests in at least 22 countries, including Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. These include hotels, golf courses and at least one aviation company.

While the bulk of Trump’s business interests are anchored in the U.S., his far-flung holdings — which also include assets as far afield as India, Qatar, Egypt and Panama — present significant potential conflict of interests, according to analysts.

“Most foreign policy decisions you would make would have real implications for your holdings and your net worth, which means the conflicts of interests would be piling up beginning with every morning’s security briefing,” said Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute.

Hufbauer said there’s also a concern that foreign governments might try to use their leverage over Trump’s personal businesses. Trump’s property development work relies intensely on getting permissions from local regulators for everything from land use to building heights, Hufbauer said.

“There would always be the question, whether they’re putting the screws on him in his private life to have him change his policies in his public life,” Hufbauer said.

Since Trump uses his name conspicuously in his businesses and licensing agreements in the U.S. and abroad, “it seems harder to completely separate what’s going on in the business from his presence in a potential presidency,” said Hufbauer.

A President Trump would appoint Federal Reserve Board members who set interest rates that affect his properties. He would choose commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission, which oversees consumer regulation and antitrust complaints such as the one against Trump University.

He would tap leaders for the agencies that determine how easy it is for workers at his businesses to unionize or how easy it is for foreign laborers to enter the U.S. to work in his hotels. Or he might be in a position to approve the creation of a national forest next to one of his golf courses, Gross said, that would improve the views and allow him to raise the green fees.

The Berlusconi model?

The closest parallel to a President Trump in modern times, Hufbauer said, is Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

“There were all these issues of whether there was some indirect influence” on government policy because of Berlusconi’s sprawling business interests, Hufbauer said.

Trump himself has tried to raise the specter of foreign influence against Clinton, calling on her in a June 13 tweet to return “the $25 million plus” that Saudi Arabia had given to the Clinton Foundation — run by former President Bill Clinton — which matches donors to development projects aimed at solving the world’s most pressing problems.

The foundation has rejected the suggestion of foreign influence, saying the money was earmarked for specific projects, including AIDS relief.

In response to conflict of interest concerns when Clinton became secretary of state, she made an agreement with the Obama administration to limit foreign donations to the foundation to those countries that had already been giving, as long as their contributions stayed at the same levels.

Clinton, who has spent her presidential campaign so far in the United States, primarily visiting key battlegrounds such as Ohio and Virginia, has said that if she’s elected, she and her husband will “cross that bridge” on making a decision about the foundation. Bill Clinton has said things will change.

Hufbauer said one difference between Clinton’s situation and Trump’s is scale.

“We now see the Clintons are having some trouble in wondering what Bill will do with the foundation if Hillary is elected,” he said. “The problems of a Trump would be substantially greater because of the conspicuous use of his name.”

Few regulations for presidents

No law would require Trump to shed his holdings, though he would have to disclose them. And there’s no regulation that would prevent him from promoting his overseas resorts or other properties if he sits in the White House.

There isn’t even a legal requirement for presidents to place their holdings in a blind trust, which has become an accepted practice as candidates in previous years took steps to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of one.

And while executive branch employees are legally forbidden from taking part in a government matter that might affect their financial interests or those of their spouse or children, that rule doesn’t apply to the president or the vice president.

Beyond creating a blind trust, candidates often sell their businesses, convert their holdings into cash or general financial instruments such as index funds. Bush sold his stake in the Texas Ranger’s baseball team and put his securities in a trust, as did Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Gross, who advised Romney, and others noted that Trump still faces the possibility of conflicts of interest even if he hands management of his assets over to his family.

“You’re supposed to have no clue what the people in charge of the trust are doing with your money,” Ornstein said.

Richard Painter, a corporate law professor at the University of Minnesota who served as the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, said another problem would be the way banks, regulatory agencies or other entities would relate to the family members managing Trump’s properties.

“You think the banks are going to turn down the president’s son on a leveraged loan?” he asked.

The Constitution’s failure to address these kinds of potential presidential conflicts of interest is a “fatal flaw,” said Painter, who pointed to history for an example of the impact personal financial interests can have on national fortunes.

Presidents including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, along with many senators, owned plantations that relied on slave labor, a factor that Painter said affected their judgment.

“The first few presidents had conflicts of interests that made it impossible for them to intelligently and ethically deal with the country’s first moral dilemma,” Painter said. “The fact that we failed to deal with that in 1789 created the greatest political crisis and war in our country’s history.”

Some of Trump’s businesses around the world

CNN’s Rachel Chason, Jennifer Agiesta, Jeremy Diamond, Dan Merica and Tal Yellin contributed to this report.

A-10s land on highway near Russian border

The maneuver in Estonia, a NATO member that shares a 183-mile long border with Russia and sits about 100 miles from St. Petersburg, comes amid heightened tensions with Russia.

These so-called “austere” highway landings were relatively common during the Cold War as military planners sought contingencies in case air bases were destroyed in a large-scale conflict.

But the Air Force has not seen the need to practice this type of landing in the last three decades.

Retired Air Force Col. John “JV” Venable told CNN that these landings would be critical if Russia were to ever mount an attack on NATO’s Baltic members.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are definitely “targets of interest for (Russian President Vladimir Putin) and Russia,” he said.

He added that in the event of an attack, one of the first things the Russian military would do would be to strike the region’s limited number of airfields, thereby making alternative landing areas critical to defending the alliance’s eastern flank.

“This was the first time in a long time that we had the opportunity to conduct a highway landing,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Alex Griffin, a U.S. Air Force-Europe public affairs officer. “It was important because it’s necessary our aircrew are familiar with this skill.”

The landing was part of a U.S. Army-Europe-led military training exercise, Saber Strike 16, which involves 13 countries training throughout Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. According to U.S. Air Force Europe, the goal of the exercise is to ensure that NATO and its partners “are ready for and capable of dealing with any contingency.”

Last week, NATO announced that the alliance would deploy four multinational battalions, consisting of about 1,000 troops each, to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. NATO jets also help secure Estonian airspace through the Baltic Air Policing operation.

NATO’s easternmost members, including Poland and the Baltic states, have long sought an increased presence of NATO troops in their respective countries, a request driven in part by Russia’s 2014 military intervention and annexation of Crimea and continued backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is also planning on deploying advanced nuclear-capable missiles in its European enclave of Kaliningrad by 2019, according to Reuters.
And the commander of U.S. Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, was quoted teling the German news weekly Die Zeit Wednesday that “Russia could take over the Baltic states faster than we would be able to defend them.”

In February, the U.S. Department of Defense announced it was spending $3.4 billion for thed European Reassurance Initiative in an effort to deter Russian aggression against NATO allies.

The A-10s’ role in reinforcing NATO’s eastern flank comes as questions linger over the future of the close air support attack jet. The ones that arrived in Estonia on Monday came from the Michigan Air National Guard.

The Air Force had originally planned for its version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace the A-10. But Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in February that the A-10 had “been devastating” ISIS and that the next budget would extend its operational life by deferring the plane’s retirement until 2022, at which point it would be replaced by the F-35.

But in recent months, Air Force leaders have openly discussed replacing the A-10 with a new jet dedicated to the close air support mission.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday that he did not care which plane was chosen as long as it did the job adequately.

“As a soldier and a guy who’s been in my share of firefights, the only thing I care about is the effect on the target. I don’t give a rat’s ass what platform brings it in. I could care less if it’s a B-52, if it’s a B-1 bomber, if it’s an F-16, an F-15, an A-10. I don’t care if the thing is delivered by carrier pigeon. I want the enemy taken care of,” Milley told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Unlike the multi-role F-35, the A-10 is the only airplane in the Air Force specifically designed for close air support.

The A-10 has seen combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently in Syria, where it was able to target enemy forces up close without risking friendly fire casualties because the pilots are flying slow enough to visually distinguish between enemy and friendly forces.

The A-10 can carry up to 16,000 pounds of bombs and missiles and is armed with a powerful 30 mm, seven-barrel Gatling gun, which can fire depleted uranium bullets at 3,900 rounds per minute.

Lindsay Lohan live-tweets UK referendum results

She first posted an Instagram video appearing to show a Chanel bag before panning the camera to show the BBC’s referendum coverage on the television, and wrote “#besmart pay attention and work hard to buy @chanelofficial #remain where’s Sunderland? Does Sarah Palin live there? Lol.”

She later sent a series of tweets praising parts of Britain that voted to remain in the EU, while mocking those that chose to leave, and even commented on the news that the British pound had dropped sharply against the dollar as early results showed a lead for the leave campaign.

Meanwhile, a number of politicians tweeted lines from the movie Mean Girls in response to the actress’ tweets.

Despite some early suspicions, the actress said her accounts hadn’t been hacked.

David Cameron quits as UK PM

It was a move that backfired spectacularly and led to the dramatic announcement that he’ll quit as Britain’s prime minister in the aftermath of the Brexit vote — an era-defining moment that will no doubt lead to him being remembered for generations to come as the man who took the country out of the European Union.

For a man who told members of the Conservative Party to stop “banging on” about Europe in his first conference speech as leader, it is perhaps fitting that his reign comes to end with such symmetry.

Outside 10 Downing Street Friday, Cameron, who had defiantly championed the cause of the Remain campaign, conceded that his position had become untenable after a night of drama.

Though Cameron said he would remain in charge until a new leader is appointed in early October, he pledged to try to “steady the ship” over the coming months before handing over responsibility.


It’s a huge blow to Cameron, who led the Conservative Party to victory in the 2015 general election and saw off the threat of Scottish independence a year before that.

But his decision to attempt to solve party infighting and see off the threat of the United Kingdom Independence Party by offering a referendum on membership of the EU if he won the general election has proved fatal to his reign.

Cameron’s name will no doubt be cast by some alongside the likes of Neville Chamberlain and Anthony Eden, former prime ministers whose careers were defined by failure.

Cameron had been regarded as a lucky politician by some of his closest colleagues but that luck ran out as the “Leave” campaign won 51.9% of the vote to win by 1,269.501 votes, with turnout at 72%.

He’ll now be left to watch on as rivals make a claim for his job, with Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, the current favorite.

Clearly emotional, Cameron, with his wife Samantha by his side, ran through his achievements, including the introduction of gay marriage and progress with the country’s economy.

“I fought this campaign in the only way I know how, which is to say directly and passionately, what I think and feel — head, heart and soul.

“I held nothing back, I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union and I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone — not the future of any single politician including myself.

“But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.

“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.

“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly but I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.”

Party infighting

But all of those points will be washed away by the enormity of this result — a result that has changed the landscape of British politics forever.

Cameron’s undoing was that he believed the constant infighting within the Conservative Party over Europe had to be resolved — but the calling of a referendum was an unnecessary gamble.

He attempted to use the economy to persuade voters that remaining in Europe would be best for Britain — but “Project Fear” as it was dubbed by his opponent, failed to resonate with a divided country.

He resignation was perhaps inevitable — a man who said that leaving the EU would be like “putting a bomb under our economy” was never going to be able to negotiate the country’s exit.

In the end, Cameron’s gamble, one that he had been warned against, failed to come off, as CNN’s Max Foster summed up from Downing Street.

“We thought he would reassure the markets but obviously the pressure was so high that he had to come out with another solution and he fell on his sword. An extraordinary day here.

“What this country doesn’t need right now is more political instability on top of the market turmoil,” Foster said.

'Brexit' vote shows divided Britain

More than 30 million people from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland — and even tiny Gibraltar — went to the polls, with 51.89% of them deciding that Britain would become the first country to withdraw from the 28-member bloc.

Yet 48% of voters disagreed with that decision, leaving a remarkably clear picture geographically. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland wanted to remain, while voters in Wales and every English region outside of the capital backed the campaign to leave.

Barely a year after he led his party to a parliamentary majority, many of the traditional Conservative heartlands across the country appeared to turn against their leader following a passionate — sometimes bitter — campaign that focused on the economy and immigration.

And the repercussions could affect Britain’s own union too.

Second Scottish referendum?

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was quick to emphasize that the Scottish people see their future as part of the EU. All 32 of Scotland’s local authorities backed the Remain campaign. “Scotland has spoken, and spoken decisively,” she said.

Ominous words given that a second referendum on Scotland’s own position within the United Kingdom was part of the Scottish National Party’s manifesto during the recent Scottish parliamentary election.

Former First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond, the architect of the 2014 independence referendum that ended in defeat for the nationalists, warned a second ballot was likely if the country is “dragged” out of the EU.

Irish union

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland’s similar backing for continued EU membership provoked a call by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness for a poll on a united Ireland.

He told Irish broadcaster RTE the “Brexit” vote means that “the British government now has no democratic mandate to represent the views of the North in any future negotiations with the European Union and I do believe that there is a democratic imperative for a ‘border poll’ to be held.”

His republican Sinn Fein party have longed back a union with the Republic of Ireland, who are also EU members — a position that is bitterly opposed by their unionist partners in the government of Northern Ireland who want to preserve their position within the United Kingdom.

Scotland to seek independence

Story highlights

  • Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s party has vowed to revisit independence issue
  • Independence rejected in 2014, but with UK vote on EU, things have changed, she says
Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party was elected on a platform that vowed, in part, to revisit the independence issue — last decided in a failed 2014 referendum — should the country be “taken out of the EU against our will,” Sturgeon said.

“Scotland does now face that prospect,” Sturgeon said. “It is a significant and material change in circumstances, and it is therefore a statement of the obvious that the option of a second referendum must be on the table, and it is on the table.”

Scotland is one of four countries that make up the United Kingdom. England, Wales and Northern Ireland are the others. Scottish voters overwhelmingly backed remaining in the EU, 62% in favor of staying to 38% who want to leave.

Sturgeon said her government would begin preparing legislation for a new referendum that could be held before the UK formally leaves the EU — two years from when the government formally notifies the bloc of its intent to drop out.

She said she felt it unlikely that UK leaders would try to block the effort, saying it is “highly likely” that a new independence referendum will be held.

In the 2014 vote, 55% of Scottish voters cast ballots in favor of remaining in the United Kingdom, but Sturgeon said Friday that many of those who voted against independence then are reassessing their positions in light of Thursday’s decision.

Brexit: What happens now?

But breaking up is hard to do. It will take at least two years — if not more — to sort out the historic exit from the 28-country bloc.

The UK has been a member of the European Union (and its precursors) since 1973, and the British government now faces the gargantuan task of unraveling decades of legislation, treaties and deals between the UK and the EU, the single biggest market in the world.

The EU referendum vote itself has no legal ramification. The formal announcement to the EU is expected to happen at a meeting of the European Council (the EU’s heads of government).

Once that happens, it will trigger Article 50 of the 1973 Treaty of Lisbon, which gives both sides two years to negotiate an exit.

However, because the UK is so intricately entwined with the EU, it could take many years longer than that. During that time, EU laws will still apply to the UK and it will be, for the most part, business as usual.

The European Council is meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday.

What will happen to the EU?

The UK is the first bona fide country to leave. The closest thing prior to this is when Greenland, which is part of Denmark, left in 1985. (The rest of Denmark stayed.)

Greece has thought seriously about it though. That would be Grexit (another story altogether). But think about the precedent it sets. With the UK’s decision to leave, other EU countries might start eyeing the door too and that’ll have huge consequences for the economy and stability.

Jan Techau, director of foreign policy think tank Carnegie Europe, said the EU is sure to play hardball when it comes to negotiating the UK’s exit.

“First off, they will try to play it hard vis-a-vis the UK. It’s quite clear they will have to unify around a position that will make it quite painful for the UK to negotiate this exit so that everybody sees what happens to you if you try to do the same thing,” Techau said.

While that’s a short-term tactic, the EU will also need to find a deeper solution to the problems plaguing them — the most pressing of which is the refugee crisis.

What about the UK?

Friday’s vote could also see a break up of the United Kingdom — which is composed of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Scots, a majority of whom want to stay, have said they will call for a referendum for their own independence (remember the 2014 Scottish referendum? That vote to stay prevailed by 55% to 45%) — so it can join the EU.

Northern Ireland leaders called for a referendum too after the vote results.

“The British government can no longer claim to represent the political or economic interests of the North in Europe,” Declan Kearney, Sinn Fein National Chairperson told CNN.

“There is clearly a democratic imperative for a border poll in the North.”

Heads have rolled

Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the “Bremain” campaign, announced his resignation following the vote.

A committee of Tory MPs, known as the “1922 Committee,” will put forward candidates for leadership of the party, who will be voted on by party members. Cameron said in his resignation speech that he hopes a new leader will be in place by the time the party meets for their conference in October.

Doug Criss and Carol Jordan contributed to this report.

UK votes to become first country to leave European Union

Almost 46.5 million people were registered to vote in Thursday’s referendum.

Leave.EU and UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who had earlier appeared to concede that the “Remain” vote had “edged it,” told his supporters that the result heralded a “new dawn” for an independent UK.

He also called on Prime Minister David Cameron to resign as a result of the referendum.

“The dawn is coming up on an independent United Kingdom, something that you did your absolute best — you used all of your powers — to prevent,” he said.

“You did it using every organ of state available to you. You’ve lost the trust of the British people. Go, go now.”

of 382 voting areas reporting

The result reflects a deeply divided union.

The town of Boston in Lincolnshire, England, had the biggest margin of victory for leave voters — 76% to 24%.

The tiny British overseas territory of Gibraltar has the biggest margin of victory for Remain. About 96% of ballots there were for remain.

In one of the most divisive campaigns in recent memory, polls had consistently shown voters split down the middle, with the outcome too close to call, and wavering voters likely to determine the result.

The UK has been a member of the European Union — and its precursors — since 1973.

Mixed reaction

The results have prompted mixed reaction from politicians.

Germany’s foreign minister tweeted: “The early morning news from #GreatBritain are truly sobering. It looks like a sad day for #Europe+the #UnitedKingdom.”

The far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders congratulated the UK on its decision, and called for a Dutch referendum on EU membership.

“We want be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders, and our own immigration policy,” he was quoted as saying in a statement on his website.

“If I become prime minister, there will be a referendum in the Netherlands on leaving the European Union as well. Let the Dutch people decide.”

French Northern Irish party Sinn Fein, which has long advocated for independence from the UK, said that the vote “forfeited any mandate to represent the interests of people here in the north of Ireland,” chairman Declan Kearney said in a statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama “has been briefed” on the results and expects to speak to Cameron later in the day.

Markets start freaking out

The shock development will have profound implications for markets and economies around the world.

The pound has plunged more than 12% to below $1.34, its lowest level since 1985. Japan’s Nikkei tanked 6.7%, and Hong Kong’s main index dropped 3.7%. Stock futures indicate that markets in London and New York will also tank when they open for trading. Dow futures are down more than 650 points.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) tells CNN that UK stock markets will open as normal at 3a ET. There had been reports the LSE might delay the start of trading.

Results have sparked a global markets sell-off. London stock futures are trading 7% lower and stock futures in the U.S. are down 2%, CNNMoney reports.

Before the polls closed, markets had been expecting the UK would stay in the EU. But that expectation changed rapidly as results started coming in.

The pound is dropping sharply against all major currencies, and is currently trading at 1.38 against the dollar. Oil is down 4%.

Gold — one asset investors turn to in the times of uncertainty — is up 2%.

The shockwaves are being felt around the world.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters Japan is keeping a close eye on financial markets following the UK’s EU referendum and is ready to take measures if necessary, if markets continue to fall.

The South Korean government will hold an emergency meeting on the UK’s EU referendum result at 2 p.m. local time (1 a.m. ET), according to a South Korean Finance Ministry official.

‘Serious consequences’

While Turnout in Scotland is 67% and voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe. Now that the UK as a whole has determine to leave, many north of the border feel that this would be a catalyst for another Scottish referendum, allowing the country to secede from the UK.

“Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU, and I welcome that endorsement of our European status,” Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in a statement.

“And while the overall result remains to be declared, the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.”

SNP member for Edinburgh Joanna Cherry told CNN that the result had been “shocking,” especially as Scotland had been told during their 2014 referendum the only way to guarantee their European Union membership was to stay part of the United Kingdom.

“It was a big issue… if it now turns out that promise has been broken, then of course there is the material, significant change in circumstances which we said in our manifesto would justify the Scottish parliament in calling another referendum.”

The SNP voices added to Sinn Fein’s call for the UK’s constituent parts to have their say on remaining in the UK.

“If this result holds, it’s the end of Britain, just simple as that… Scotland is voting overwhelmingly to stay,” historian Simon Schama told CNN before the vote.

“If Scotland cannot be coerced into leaving the EU against its will, you cannot, in all decency, deny them a second referendum. If all the leavers are about self-government, taking back control, why shouldn’t the Scots take back control?

“Bye-bye Great Britain, bye-bye United Kingdom. That will absolutely happen.”

‘Out is out’

Cameron negotiated with European leaders this year to secure improved terms of membership in the bloc had Britain stayed in the EU.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Wednesday there will be no further renegotiation.

“We have concluded the deal with the Prime Minister; he got the maximum he could receive, and we gave the maximum we could give so there will be no kind of renegotiation,” he said.

“Out is out.”

French President Fran├žois Hollande also warned that the result would have a huge impact on the future of the European Union.

“The departure of a country that is, geographically, historically, politically in the European Union would have extremely serious consequences,” he said prior to the vote.

Pro-Brexit Member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan insists that cooperation with the EU will continue despite the UK’s “Leave” vote.

“Our partners in the EU should know that we will remain engaged,” he tweeted. “Taking back control of our laws doesn’t mean walking away from our allies.”

Rain doesn't deter voters from casting ballots in London's West Hampstead.

CNN’s Bryony Jones, Phil Black, Nic Robertson, Richard Allen Greene, Simon Cullen, Sebastian Shukla, Tim Lister, Vasco Cotovio, Kevin Liptak and Anais Furtade contributed to this report.

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