UK Parliament to debate second EU referendum petition in September

July 12, 2016 8:30 pm

Pro- supporters and
pro-Brexit supporters hold up placards during a demonstration against
Brexit in Green Park in London on July 9, 2016. ©AFP

The British Parliament is set
to debate on a petition calling for a second referendum on the
membership of the European Union on September 5.

The
Commons Petitions Committee said on Tuesday that the House of Commons
will discuss about the online petition that was signed by more than four
million people.
The petition was set up by a Brexit supporter
before the June 23 referendum, asking the government to cancel the vote
results if one of the Leave or Remain campaigns won by less than 60
percent on a turnout of less than 75 percent.
“The
Committee has decided that the huge number of people signing this
petition means that it should be debated by MPs,” a House of Commons
spokesman said in a statement.
The Petition Committee, however, said debating the issue does not support the call for another referendum.
“The
debate will allow MPs to put forward a range of views on behalf of
their constituents. At the end of the debate, a Government Minister will
respond to the points raised,” the spokesman also said.

Pro-European
Union supporters hold up a European Union flag during a picnic against
Brexit in Green Park in London on July 9, 2016. ©AFPHe
added the debate will not end with MPs deciding about holding another
vote, noting that the petition was opened before the referendum and
called for “the referendum rules to be changed. It is now too late for
the rules to be changed retrospectively.”
“It will be up
for the government to decide whether it wants to start the process of
agreeing a new law for a second referendum,” he concluded.
The
government has rejected the call for holding another vote, saying the
Brexit referendum was a once in a generation vote and must be respected.
The
Foreign Office said on July 8 that “we must now prepare for the process
to exit the and the government is committed to ensuring the best
possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.”
Britain
voted to leave the EU after 43 years of membership in a referendum last
month. Some 52 percent (17.4 million) of British voters opted to leave
the EU, while roughly 48 percent (16.14 million) of people voted to stay
in the union.
After the Brexit results came out on June 24, the
petition was shared widely on social media by Remain supporters and was
signed by more than 4.1 million people. It is said to be the most-signed
petition since the process was introduced in 2011.

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