Market commentators scrambled to mark down the UK's economic prospects over the short to medium term following a historic vote by the country to end its membership of the European Union.

With all 382 voting districts declared on Friday (24 June), the leave camp won by 1,269,501 votes with a 52% mandate.

As results trickled in favour of a Brexit, market commentators revised the UK's growth forecast for 2016 by as much as 0.5% to 1%, as the pound sterling fell to its lowest level since 1985, fetching $1.3587 down 6.68%.

Responding to the developments the Bank of England said it is monitoring developments closely. "The bank has undertaken extensive contingency planning and is working closely with HM Treasury, other domestic authorities and overseas central banks. We will take all necessary steps to meet our responsibilities for monetary and financial stability."

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "Following the UK's decision to leave the EU, the IHS is substantially cutting its GDP growth forecasts to 1.5% (from 2.0%) for 2016, 0.2% (from 2.4%) for 2017 and 1.3% (from 2.3%) for 2018."

Archer said major economic and political uncertainty will be "a fact of life" for some considerable time, likely weighing down markedly on business and household confidence and behaviour, so dampening corporate investment, employment and consumer spending.

As the sterling fell sharply, Kit Juckes, head of forex at Societe Generale, said, "The UK economy enters a period of huge uncertainty – and weakness as a result – and despite the 9.8% fall in GBP/USD that we have seen overnight, there is a grave danger of further weakness in the weeks ahead. Indeed, the view of policymakers will be that a weaker pound is a vital economic shock absorber."

Juckes opined that a protracted period of negotiations to disentangle the UK from the EU, alongside attempts at putting together a new set of trade agreements, will come against a backdrop of domestic political uncertainty as the Conservative Party reacts to the result.

"Initially the Bank of England will focus on liquidity and the stability of the financial system but in due course, monetary policy is likely to be eased too. We continue to look for GBP/USD to trade in a 1.30-1.35 range for now (i.e. a little lower than here) and eventually, towards 1.20-1.25. EUR/GBP will rise further and indeed has already risen faster than our initial estimates, but we don't expect a move to 0.90 (from 0.83 now)," he added.

Chris Beauchamp, senior analyst at IG markets, said it is impossible to predict what happens next. "Central banks and governments will have to show leadership and try and calm markets. Calm will return, but it could take some time. The fallout for the UK could continue for much longer than elsewhere. The result of the referendum is unprecedented."

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said Prime Minister David Cameron will now have a lot to answer for having offered a referendum in the first place that he clearly didn't personally back in what appears to have been a politically driven move.

"It will be very interesting to see how politicians respond to the result in the coming days and weeks but the public has spoken and they have decided they no one want to be a part of a faulty EU."