The aftershocks of Thursday’s referendum on British membership in the European Union continued to reverberate Saturday, as more than 2 million people signed an online petition calling for a second vote and one lawmaker said Parliament should overturn the result.
Voters in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar opted to leave the 28-nation bloc by the relatively narrow margin of 1.2 million votes out of more than 33 million cast. The result revealed deep regional and generational divides in the United Kingdom, with young voters, London and Scotland overwhelmingly voting “Remain”. By contrast, older voters, the rest of England and Wales voted “Leave” by similary large margins.
The petition, which had 2,374,547 signatures shortly before 9:30 p.m. U.K. time, proposed a rule that stating if that if the “remain” or “leave” camps won less than 60 percent of the vote with less than a 75 percent turnout “there should be another referendum.”
“Leave” won Thursday’s vote with 52 percent on a turnout of 72 percent, the highest turnout for a national vote since 1992.
Technically, the referendum result is not legally binding because of Britain’s sovereign Parliament. David Lammy MP, a member of the left-wing Labour party, called Saturday for a legislative vote on whether to remain in the EU.