LONDON:About 3 million people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum, after a shock vote to pull Britain out of the EU, an official website showed Saturday.
The website of the parliamentary petition at one point crashed due to the surge of people adding their names to the call for another nationwide poll following Thursday’s historic vote.
“We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 percent based (on) a turnout less than 75 percent there should be another referendum,” says the petition.
The “Leave” camp won the support of 51.9 percent of voters, against 48.1 percent in favour of remaining in the European Union.
Turnout for Thursday’s referendum was 72.2 percent.
Signatories to the petition appeared to be mostly in Edinburgh and London, both of which voted heavily in favour of “Remain”.
There is no obligation in British legislation for referendums to have a minimum share of the vote or a minimum turnout, as in some other countries.
But EU rules say nothing about a member state that has already begun negotiations to leave the blocchanging its mind and reversing that decision under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
University of Strathclyde professor John Curtice outlined two hypothetical scenarios in which a second referendum could take place.
“If Boris Johnson is running the government and it is taking a long time to be implemented, two years down the line we could have another poll showing people actually want to reverse the decision and remain in,” he said.
“Then there could be a situation where the opposition party in a general election have a mandate to hold a new referendum,” he added.
But he said there would be no immediate effects from the current petition except for a formal discussion in parliament, which is required for any petitions that have over 100,000 signatures.