A petition seeking a second referendum on “Brexit” has managed to garner nearly three million signatures. The petition has persuaded the British Parliament to reconsider their stand on leaving the European Union (EU).
Almost three million United Kingdom citizens have signed an online petition pressing for a second EU referendum after the country marginally won a vote to leave the EU, reported The Guardian. Britain had sent shockwaves across the world with its democratic decision to break away from the EU.
— Bloomberg (@business) June 26, 2016
The U.K. voted to leave the EU by 52 for and 48 against, in Thursday’s referendum. In terms of actual numbers, 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, while 16.1 million people voted “Remain,” reported ABC News. However, the majority of voters from London, Scotland and Northern Ireland had largely voted to remain in the EU. Within less than a day of Britain voting, a petition was created by William Oliver Healey, which states:
“We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60%, based on a turnout less than 75%, there should be another referendum.”
In simple terms, the petition was asking for a revote based on the condition that the vote didn’t appear unanimous or less than 60 percent of the people had agreed to leave the EU. Moreover, the petition points out that less than 75 percent of the population voted and hence the vote did not convey the common consensus of the nation as a whole.
Statistically speaking, Thursday’s vote witnessed a 72.2 percent turnout, which is still very impressive. Last year’s general election saw 66.1 percent people walking up to a polling booth. Despite the strong response on the referendum, it was still below the 75 percent mark, suggested by Mr. Healey. Perhaps he was treating the 2014 Scotland’s independence referendum as a baseline. About two years, ago, a whopping 84.6 percent of the population had turned out to vote for the country’s independence.
— Bloomberg (@business) June 26, 2016
However, no general election, since 1992, has ever witnessed a voter turnout exceeding 75 percent. This essentially means the 72.2 percent turnout is as high as it could possibly go. Nonetheless, as the Inquisitr reported it is the youngsters, who were opposing the decision to leave EU. A poll conducted a few days earlier, indicated that majority of the young voters in the age group 18 to 24, weren’t in favor of Brexit. The feeling was completely opposite for the senior citizens above the age of 65.
— Adam Khan (@Khanoisseur) June 24, 2016
In simple words, those who have the longest to live in a Britain that isn’t tethered to the EU wished the referendum would swing in the favor of “Remain.” Many among the young generation are worried about the immediate loss of work opportunities in more than two dozen countries. While others are concerned about the multiple hurdles that will soon spring up against cultural and social exchanges.
The petition to reconsider a second referendum caused the parliamentary petitions system website, which is overseen by the Petitions Committee, to go down. Confirming the downtime, a House of Commons spokeswoman said the site went down because of “exceptionally high volumes of simultaneous users on a single petition, significantly higher than on any previous occasion.”
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 24, 2016
Even though the petition required just 100,000 signatures for it to be taken seriously by the Parliament, it is rapidly approaching three million signatures, giving a clear indicator about the expectation of the common citizenry. The committee is due to sit again on Tuesday, reported the BBC.
Based on the response, it is clear that a large population considers Britain leaving the EU is a bad decision. Interestingly, many Londoners feel it would be wise to break away from the U.K. and side with the EU.
[Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images]