You probably saw the petition going around in the wake of the EU referendum ending in a leave vote from the UK.
The petition was calling for a second vote, and despite it being signed by 4.1 million people, the government has said that the decision to leave the EU will stand.
The Foreign Office responded, saying: “The EU Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015. The Act was scrutinised and debated in Parliament during its passage and agreed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Act set out the terms under which the referendum would take place, including provisions for setting the date, franchise and the question that would appear on the ballot paper. The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.”
“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. We must now prepare for the process to exit the EU and the Government is committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for the British people in the negotiations.”
While this is disappointing, it’s not all that surprising that the UK government is standing by the Leave decision.
However, a letter to current Prime Minister David Cameron saying that Brexit is not “legally binding” has been signed by 1,000 lawyers.
Philip Kolvin QC, who co-ordinated the creation of the letter, said: “Parliament is sovereign and the guardian of our democracy. MPs are elected to exercise their best judgment on the basis of objective evidence, to safeguard the interests of the country and their constituents for this and future generations. At this time of profound constitutional, political and possibly social and economic crisis, we look to them to fulfill the responsibility placed upon them.”
David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham and former Higher Education and Skills Minister, spoke to the Independent:”Whoever replaces David Cameron a Prime Minister will have to seek the approval of Parliament before any move is made to invoke Article 50 and trigger Brexit. I’m absolutely clear that in the best interests of my constituents and of the nation as a whole I will be voting against the invoking of Article 50 when it comes before Parliament and I know that many of my colleagues share the same view.”