Will A Petition Prompt A Brexit “Do Over” Vote?

vote ballot greeceChris Ciovacco:  Tough To Ignore The Will Of The People.  You may have heard about the number of signatures on a “do over” petition regarding the recent EU referendum in the United Kingdom.

However, given 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, it is difficult to see how 3 million signatures on an online petition could carry much weight.


From The Financial Times:

Something truly extraordinary would have to happen before parliament — which remains the sovereign decision maker on the matter — decided to overturn the will of the 17.4m people who voted for Brexit in the referendum. A few million signatures on a petition will not do it. The absolute minimum requirement would be a general election victory for a party that had promised explicitly to think again.

What Are The Odds The Referendum Is Ignored?

When two sides campaign for months and 33.5 million citizens go to the polls to let their will be known, it creates a very high threshold relative to any “do over/revote/ignore it” scenarios. Bloomberg recently addressed the can the referendum be overturned question:

Possible, but unlikely. It’s true that the referendum is non-binding and the U.K.’s next prime minister is under no legal compulsion to act on the result. And a new premier could, in theory, go back to the EU and ask to negotiate a new deal before taking it back for a second vote. But this option has been ruled out by the EU’s other leaders. Most importantly, it would be extremely difficult to ignore the views of the 17.4 million people who voted to leave. There is no mechanism in the U.K. for the public to trigger a referendum — the most that a petition can achieve is a debate among lawmakers. There are a few other problems. The petition demands the government annul the plebiscite if either side wins by less by 60 percent or if turnout is less than 75 percent. But the referendum has already taken place. And all the country’s leading politicians have pledged to recognize the result. So this probably won’t go very far.

Petition Has Already Had Signatures Removed

In order to sign the petition, you simply have to check a box that says “I am a British citizen or UK resident”, thus it appears as if anyone can check that box from anywhere in the world.

As you might guess, that can cause some problems.

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