Brexit:Theaftermath

Over 1.5 million ask: Could we try again, please

British demonstrators holding EU flags as they protested yesterday against the outcome of the Brexit referendum. The Leave camp won the support of 51.9 per cent of voters, against 48.1 per cent in favour of the Remain camp. The turnout for last Thurs
British demonstrators holding EU flags as they protested yesterday against the outcome of the Brexit referendum. The Leave camp won the support of 51.9 per cent of voters, against 48.1 per cent in favour of the Remain camp. The turnout for last Thursday's referendum was 72.2 per cent.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Petition for second referendum comes amid Google searches related to Brexit and the EU

LONDON • More than 1.5 million people have signed a petition calling for a second referendum after the "Leave" camp won a shock victory to pull Britain out of the European Union, an official website showed yesterday.

The website of the parliamentary petition at one point crashed due to the surge of people adding their names to the call for another nationwide poll following last Thursday's historic vote.

"We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 per cent based (on) a turnout less than 75 per cent, there should be another referendum," says the petition.

The Leave camp won the support of 51.9 per cent of voters, against 48.1 per cent in favour of remaining in the 60-year-old European bloc. The turnout for Thursday's referendum was 72.2 per cent.

Internet search giant Google reported sharp upticks in searches related not only to the ballot measure but also about basic questions concerning the implications of the vote after the referendum.

REALITY BITES

Even though I voted to leave, this morning I woke up and I just - the reality did actually hit me... If I'd had the opportunity to vote again, it would be to stay.

A BRITISH VOTER, telling ITV News about how she regretted her "Leave" vote.

About eight hours after the polls closed, Google reported that searches for "what happens if we leave the EU" had more than tripled.

And despite the all-out attempts by both sides to court voters ahead of the referendum, Britons were mystified not only by what would happen if they left the EU - the most-searched question on Google in the UK - but also, many seemed not to even know what the EU is.

Google Trends tweeted that "What is the EU?" is the second top UK question on the EU since the #EURefResults were announced.

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

By 10pm Singapore time yesterday, some 1,554,000 people had signed the petition on the official government and Parliament website - more than 15 times the number required for the proposal to be discussed in Parliament."

Some are now regretting voting for Brexit.

"Even though I voted to leave, this morning I woke up and I just - the reality did actually hit me," one woman told ITV News.

"If I'd had the opportunity to vote again, it would be to stay."

However, Prime Minister David Cameron previously said there would be no second referendum.

And Leave campaign figurehead Boris Johnson had downplayed the idea of a new vote even before the referendum was held, irrespective of the result.

"I'm absolutely clear, a referendum is a referendum. It is a once in a generation, once in a lifetime opportunity and the result determines the outcome," he said.

"If we vote to stay, we stay, and that's it. If we vote to leave, we vote to leave, that's it. You can't have 'neverendums', you have referendums."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 26, 2016, with the headline 'Over 1.5 million ask: Could we try again, please'. Print Edition | Subscribe