LONDON — A petition calling for the UK to hold a second referendum on membership in the European Union surpassed 1.3 million signatures on Saturday, in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the 28-member bloc.
The demand to sign the parliamentary petition briefly caused the government website to crash on Friday. A House of Commons spokeswoman told the Guardian that the site was temporarily taken down due to "exceptionally high volumes of simultaneous users on a single petition, significantly higher than on any previous occasion."
Social reactions to Brexit vote:
The UK government is required to respond to any petition above 10,000 signatures. Parliament must consider for debate any petition that has 100,000 signatures.
The petition, created by William Oliver Healey, is entitled "EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum."
It reads: "We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum."
It in unclear whether this proposed change would be able to be retroactively applied to the results of Thursday's EU referendum vote. The turnout for Thursday's vote was 72.2 percent.
The petition was trending on Twitter on Saturday as people shared the link and encouraged others to sign. Many people didn't really understand it but seemed to feel like it was a way to "try to do something" about the result.
However, others criticised it as sour grapes.
A heat map showing where the signatures come from showed, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the areas that voted to remain in the EU had the most people signing the petition. The petition map is on the left and Mashable UK's Lego Brexit map is on the right, for comparison. (Red is for Leave and Blue for Remain.)
Where the petition signatures are coming from.
This isn't the only petition going around about the EU referendum. On Change.org, more than 130,000 have signed a petition calling for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to declare London independent from the UK and apply for EU membership. The UK government isn't obligated to respond to change.org petitions.
A parliamentary petition at the end of 2015 called for U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to be banned from entering the UK. Parliament did indeed debate the issue because the petition exceeded the signature threshold, but ultimately the petitioners didn't get what they wanted as Trump arrived in Scotland on Friday and hailed the Brexit result as a "great thing."
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