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Protests in London as 2m people call for 2nd referendum on EU

Anti-Brexit protests broke out on the streets of London after a petition for a second EU referendum attracted 2 million signatures within a day.

The protests came despite a record 33.5 million people taking part in the referendum-the highest in any election since 1992-in which Leave won with 51.9 percent, a margin of 1,269,501 votes.

And today, Labour legislator David Lammy says Thursday’s result was non-binding and Parliament should now vote on whether Britain quits the EU, potentially ignoring the vote.

He says some ‘leave’ supporters now regret their votes and we should not destroy the economy ‘on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson.’

Two million people have now signed the petition, which the Government must now consider debating in the House of Commons, which it must do for any which gets more than 100,000 names.

But the majority of signatures are from people in London and areas with a high population of students, which predominantly voted Remain, meaning the result may not be any different.

Thousands came from north London, Cambridge and Oxford, while more than 3,000 of David Cameron’s constituents also signed the petition.

The results from the historic EU referendum are awaiting a final declaration and the United Kingdom is projected to have voted to LEAVE the European Union.

Demonstrators waved EU flags, held posters saying ‘Yes 2 EU’ and banners claiming the older population ‘stole our future’.

Because it easily passed the 100,000 target, MPs will be forced to consider the proposal in Parliament this summer.

The petition demands the Government re-stage the referendum because the winning vote for Leave was less than 60 per cent and was based on a turnout of less than 75 per cent.

The result revealed stark divisions between young and old, north and south, cities and rural areas, and university-educated people and those with fewer qualifications.

In London a separate petition is calling on Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare the capital independent from the United Kingdom, and apply to join the EU.

Although the decision is not legally binding on MPs, it would be an act of political suicide for any group to attempt to override it and order a second referendum after months of hard-fought campaigning.

Anti-Brexit protests were also held in other UK cities, including Edinburgh, where Remain won by a vast majority – a result reflected in all 32 local authorities in Scotland, triggering demands for a second Scottish independence referendum.

Any petition that receives more than 100,000 signatures within six months must be considered for debate by MPs in Parliament.

Any petition that attracts more than 10,000 in the time period requires a response from the Government.

By lunch time today the petition had already attracted more than 1,308,147 signatures.

The result of the EU referendum should be overturned by a Commons vote next week, a Labour MP has insisted.

Former minister David Lammy said the poll, which produced a narrow, surprise, win for the Leave side, was non-binding and parliament remains sovereign.

The Tottenham MP said the Commons, where a majority of members backed Remain, should ‘stop the madness’ of Brexit.

‘Wake up. We do not have to do this. We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in parliament.

‘Our sovereign parliament needs to now vote on whether we should quit the EU.

‘The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign’s platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn’t voted to leave.

‘Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week.

‘Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson,’ Mr Lammy said.
The petition – started by William Oliver Healey this morning – states: ‘We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based on a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.’

The House of Commons Petitions committee will now be forced to consider staging a debate in Parliament on the proposals for a second referendum.

Their next meeting is on Tuesday after MPs return from a mini-recess, although it might have to wait until the following week to be discussed.

The petition reflects the anger among the 16.1 million voters who backed staying in the EU – particularly young voters in London and across Scotland, who overwhelmingly backed Remain.

Three in four 18-24-year-olds voted for Remain in the referendum and more than half (56 per cent) of 25-49-year-olds backing the pro-EU option, according to initial estimates of the vote breakdown by YouGov.

It was those who may have to live with the consequences the longest who seemed most disappointed with the result.

According to a YouGov poll, the youngest of the electorate voted overwhelmingly to Remain, while it was older voters who were most keen on Brexit.

The survey, conducted after voting closed, found 75 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 voted to remain in the EU.

Some 56 per cent of voters aged between 25 and 49 voted for Remain, but the figure dropped to 44 per cent for 50 to 64-year-olds and just 39 per cent for the over-65s, according to the poll.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron described the result as a ‘great injustice to future generations’.

‘Their future has been taken away by older generations,’ he said, in a speech following the result.

‘What a tragedy that older voters, the people who have been able to benefit from European integration, have removed the opportunity for those coming behind them.’

But those who emerged victorious from the country’s momentous decision sought to reassure those on the losing side.

In his victory speech at Vote Leave headquarters, Boris Johnson said: ‘I want to speak directly to the millions of people who did not vote for this outcome, especially young people, who may feel that this decision involves somehow pulling up the drawbridge, because I think the very opposite is true.

‘We cannot turn our backs on Europe, we are part of Europe, our children and our grandchildren will continue to have a wonderful future as Europeans.

‘It is the essence of our case that young people in this country can look forward to a more secure and more prosperous future, if we take back the democratic control.’

A poll carried out for The Times at Glastonbury music festival found 78 per cent had voted before setting off, with 83 per cent of those surveyed saying they backed Remain and just 16 per cent supporting Brexit.

[Daily Mail of London]


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