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Brexit #Regrexit Do-Over Petition Contains Thousands Of Bogus Signatures

The anti-Brexit do-over petition submitted to the U.K. parliament is under investigation for fake supporters.

At this writing, the online petition for a second EU referendum has already received a staggering 3.5 million signatures.

The premise for a second plebiscite, according to the petition, is that the winning side fell short of 60 percent of the vote based on a voter turnout of less than 75 percent, and therefore another vote is necessary.

The parliament is required to respond to any petition that garners 100,000-plus signatures.

The British pound and global financial markets have plummeted since the Brexit win, which has evidently prompted Regrexit feelings among some portion of the electorate.

In a surprise to the pollsters, betting markets, and the London-centric media, the pro-Brexit side (i.e., leave or out) won the referendum by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent, roughly the same margin of victory as when Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency. In terms of actual numbers, 17.4 million people voted to exit the European Union, while 16.1 million people voted to “remain.”

Relentless pressure from Nigel Farage and his populist UK Independence Party is credited with compelling Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to authorize the Brexit referendum in the first place. Euroskeptics in his own party also convinced Cameron to allow the nationwide EU in-or-out balloting.

Brexit piled up the votes across Britain itself except for the London area, the BBC reported. “The Leave campaign triumphed right across England and Wales … The Remain campaign, in contrast, dominated in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

The House of Commons Petitions Committee announced today that the petition is under investigation for fraud allegations and that 77,000 signatures have already been removed, with possibly more to follow. The committee insisted that no hacker penetrated the petition website, however.

“The petitions website has not been hacked, and there has been no manipulation of data behind the scenes. Fraudulent signatures have been and will continue to be removed, to ensure the site’s integrity,” a spokesperson for the committee asserted, according to the London Telegraph.

“People adding fraudulent signatures to the petition to the petition should know that they undermine the cause they pretend to support,” Petitions Committee Chair Helen Jones declared in statement released to social media.

Ironically perhaps, the petition was supposedly created by a leave supporter named Oliver Healy. In a lengthy Facebook post, Healy recalled that he launched the petition when it appeared that the remain (or “Bremain”) camp looked like it would win the June 23 referendum.

“Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the remain campaign,” he wrote. “I am genuinely appalled by the behavior of some of the remain campaign, how they are conducting themselves post-referendum not just with this petition but generally,” he added.

Pro-EU Prime Minister Cameron, who announced his resignation the morning after the Brexit vote, has turned thumbs down on a second referendum, the BBC reported.

“The website’s only identity ‘test’ is a simple checkbox asking to confirm you are either a British citizen or that you are a resident of the UK. While postcodes are required, street addresses are not and no proof of ID is needed… Overall, close to 2.5m signatures had been garnered from within the UK by Sunday lunchtime, making up an overwhelming proportion of the whole, although it’s difficult to tell how many of these were genuine,” the Guardian explained about the possible fraud in the petition.

The video below purports to show how easy it is to generate fake Brexit second referendum petition signatures.

The HeatStreet website claims that the gullible British news media was asleep at the switch because “the spamming of the petition is a magnificent 4Chan prank.”

In an analysis of alleged petition fraud, Breitbart London contended that at least six percent of the signatures are from individuals living outside of the U.K.

“While foreign-based UK nationals are allowed to sign UK petitions, some believe that many of these are fraudulent given that Remain activists are handing out post codes online in order to elicit more signatures from abroad…And some believe that a ‘script’ or a ‘bot’ is being used to automatically generate signatures for the petition… As of Sunday afternoon, around 41,118 signatories have come from Vatican City, 11,717 from the United States, and curiously, 24,855 from North Korea. At least 19,000 signatures have come from France, and 2,735 from British Antarctic Territory, which has a population of just 250 people. And even UK-based signatories are raising questions, with the petition attracting a curiously high number of signatures from constituencies with small populations.”

Although the probe is just getting started, do you think the Brexit do-over petition represents the views of a sizable segment of the U.K. populace legitimately demanding a second EU referendum or is it being primarily generated by fraud or trolling?

[Photo by Frank Augstein/AP]

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