Brexit Referendum Rejected: UK Won’t Go Back To EU Despite 4.1 Million Sign Petition Asking For A Revote

Alap Naik Desai - Author
By

Jul. 9 2016, Updated 11:55 a.m. ET

United Kingdom’s government has made it clear that it won’t reconsider leaving the European Union by rejecting the petition that called for a second referendum on the matter.

Britain’s Parliament has rejected a petition that called for a second EU referendum. The petition that urged the government to go for a revote got a phenomenal response, garnering 4.1 million signatures within a few short days, but could not sway the British Parliament.

UK’s government has flatly refused a call for a second referendum on European Union membership. The request to reconsider was made through a wildly popular petition that was signed by more than 4.1 million people following the Brexit vote.

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The formal rejection for requisition to initiate a revote was accompanied by a clear message that was sent through an email to each and every person who had signed the online petition. It said the prime minister and government had “been clear that this was a once in a generation vote.” The Foreign and Commonwealth Office made it amply clear that 33 million people had had their say and “the decision must be respected.” “We must now prepare for the process to exit the EU,” concluded the response, signalling that Britain would not reconsider going back on its decision to leave the EU, reportedBBC.

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The petition was started online by William Oliver Healey. It called for the government to hold a second referendum after the country had voted in favor of leaving the EU. With a 51.9 percent voting to leave the EU against 48.1 percent voting to remain, it was undeniably a close vote. Many argued that the victory was marginal and did not truly reflect what the nation, as a whole, thought was right for the citizens.

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Healey’s petition pointed out that the voter turnout was less than 75 percent. Moreover, the vote for Brexit was won with less than 60 percent. This implied that the nation did not put their might in its entirety and it clearly wasn’t united in the decision to leave the EU. In terms of actual numbers, 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, while 16.1 million people voted “Remain.” Additionally, majority of voters from London, Scotland and Northern Ireland had largely voted to remain in the EU.

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In all, more than 33 million people voted. This means, the voice of 72.2 percent of the voters was recorded on the ballot papers. Incidentally, last year’s general election saw 66.1 percent people walking up to a polling booth.

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Still, since the nation didn’t appear unanimous, the petition urged the government to consider a revote through a second referendum. The petition that was created just a day after the results of the first referendum were declared received a phenomenal response. In fact, it was the most-signed Government petition since the process was introduced in 2011, reportedThe Independent.

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From a legal perspective, if a petition on parliament’s website gains 100,000 signatures, the Petitions Committee considers it for a parliamentary debate, reportedThe Telegraph. However, in a formal statement that rejected the petition which won the support of more than 4 million people, the government said the following.

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“The EU Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015. The Act was scrutinized and debated in Parliament during its passage and agreed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.”

“The Act set out the terms under which the referendum would take place, including provisions for setting the date, franchise and the question that would appear on the ballot paper.”

“The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.”

“We must now prepare for the process to exit the EU and the Government is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.”

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It appears UK has firmly made up its mind and will not reconsider rejoining the European Union. In other words, Brexit stays.

[Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images]

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