The British government rejected a petition calling for a second referendum on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The petition was signed by more than 4 million people from the UK. On June 23, Britain voted 52% to 48% to exit the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron, a leading campaigner of the ‘Remain’ campaign, announced his resignation after the results.
The two front-runners to become the next prime minister, Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom, both said the results of the first referendum should not be questioned. While Leadsom supported the ‘Leave’ campaign, May advocated remaining in the EU.
Government petitions that have more than 100,000 signatures must be considered in the British Parliament. However, the Foreign Office said that results of the first referendum “must be respected”. “As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House of Commons on 27 June, the referendum was one of the biggest democratic exercises in British history with over 33 million people having their say…. The Prime Minister and Government have been clear that this was a once in a generation vote and, as the Prime Minister has said, the decision must be respected”, a statement from the Foreign Office said.