LONDON, Jun 25 – More than 1.5 million Britons and UK residents had signed a petition calling for a repeat of Thursday’s EU referendum – forcing lawmakers to at least consider a debate on the issue. The petition on the British parliament website was posted before the June 23 referendum, saying the government should hold another plebiscite on EU membership if the support for Leave or Remain in a referendum is less than 60%, based on a turnout of under 75% of electors.
The result on Thursday saw 52% of voters back a British exit on a turnout of 72% of eligible voters. Since then, the petition – which only British citizens or UK residents have the right to sign – was proving so popular that by 1417 GMT (10.17pm Malaysian time) today, 1,580,220 people had signed it with the number rising quickly.
It appeared to be rising at a rate of around 1,000 signatures a minute at one point. Most of those who signed were based in areas where support for staying in the EU was strongest such as London, the website indicated. The signatures kept coming long after it hit the 100,000 mark needed to be considered for a debate in parliament.
A House of Commons spokesperson told Metro.co.uk the petition will be debated at a meeting of the government’s Petitions Committee on Tuesday. Links to the petition have been widely shared on social media, with some famous faces backing a second referendum.
They include actor James Corden, Professor Brian Cox, cricketer Kevin Pietersen, Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie and Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films. On yesterday, Prime minister David Cameron said he would resign after leading the failed campaign to keep Britain in the EU, has previously said there would be no second referendum.