Over a million people have signed a petition in the United Kingdom seeking second referendum over the country’s EU membership following the Brexit shocker on Friday. It will now be debated in the House of Commons.
According to procedure, the petition will now have to be discussed in the British Parliament, having crossed 100,000 signatures required to trigger a debate in the House of Commons.
On Friday, UK voted in majority to exit from the European Union but the majority of voters in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backed the Remain side in a 72 per cent turnout.
The petition started by William Oliver Healey reads, “We the undersigned call upon Her Majesty’s Government to implement a rule that if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60 per cent based a turnout less than 75 per cent there should be another referendum.”
Petition gained quick momentum in minutes and the website parliamentary petition at one point crashed due to the number of people adding their names.
It remains unclear if a change to the rules demanded by the petition was to come into force and inserted into UK legislation, could be applied retrospectively.
After the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the 45 per cent of voters who lost started a similar campaign for another vote.
A second referendum in Scotland is now likely after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there had been a “significant change” to the circumstances of the original poll and that it should be back “on the table”.
A parallel petition calling for London mayor Sadiq Khan to declare ‘Londependence’, or the British capital an independent state, after the UK voted to quit the EU has also been signed by thousands of people.
On the other hand, Europe angrily demanded a quick divorce as sparks flew today over Britain’s seismic vote to abandon the EU, toppling Prime Minister David Cameron, pounding world markets and fracturing the island nation.
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker called for rushing Britain out of the door as the bloc grappled with the impending loss of one of the world’s top economies, the first defection in its 60-year history.
Cameron announced on Friday that he would resign by October and let his successor lead the exit negotiations under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which sets out a two-year time-frame to leave.
“I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” the outgoing prime minister said as sterling, global stocks and oil prices plummeted.
EU leaders will now open a two-day Brussels summit on the crisis on Tuesday.
Britain faced a historic break-up threat, too, as Scotland refused to be willingly dragged out of the 28-nation European Union when more than 60 percent of its people voted to stay in.