Brexit leaves UK economy behind France's

Vote to leave European Union causes drop in pound, London stock exchange. UK now sixth largest world economy.

Matt Wanderman,

Flash 90

In one of the most immediate effects following the UK referendum to leave the European Union, the British pound has taken a strong enough hit to reduce the Britain's economic standing in the world.

Express reports it is now the sixth largest economy by GDP, having been surpassed by France.

Alongside this, Standard and Poor's Rating Services has announced that it will probably lower the country's current triple A rating. Another leading agency, Moody's, warns that the vote "heralds a prolonged period of policy uncertainty that will weigh on the UK's economic and financial performance."

London's FTSE stock exchange fell six percent this morning, signifying a deeper collapse than the country has seen in over 40 years. Continental markets dropped even more, ranging from France's CAC 40 falling by 7.5 percent to Italy and Spain by over 11 percent.

The pound sterling weakened by about seven percent against the dollar. The current exchange rate is $1.3782 to the pound.

Supporters of the move to leave the EU point out that similar short-term effects were felt when the UK opted not to adopt the euro - but in the long-term the British economy prospered.