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More Than 3.5 Million Britons Are Demanding A Second EU Referendum

A petition calls for the U.K. government to act because Thursday's winning margin to leave the union was so slim.

25/06/2016 8:55 PM AEST | Updated June 27, 2016 16:44

Calls for the United Kingdom to hold a second referendum on its membership of the European Union are growing.

A petition demanding a rerun of Thursday's vote which resulted in the British exit, dubbed a "Brexit," after the "leave" campaign won 51.9 percent to Remain's 48.1 percent, had garnered more than 3.5 million signatures by early Monday.

petition.parliament.uk

"We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60 [percent] based on a turnout less than 75[percent] there should be a referendum," it states.

The website crashed multiple times on Friday after being inundated with thousands of visitors trying to access the petition, The Independent newspaper reports.

The British government is duty-bound to respond to any petition reaching more than 100,000 signatories, as they did in January after one was launched to ban Donald Trump from setting foot on U.K. soil.

Conservative lawmaker Ben Howlett said the House of Commons Petitions Select Committee will consider this one on Tuesday:

James Corden, "The Late Late Show" host, is among numerous celebrities urging fellow Britons to sign the petition:

But not everyone is happy with the call for a second referendum. Some people say the result must be accepted and dealt with accordingly, including politicians such as the Labour Party member of parliament Mike Gapes.

The petition, which it has since emerged was actually launched by a "Leave" campaigner in the weeks before the vote, will also come as unwelcome news for Nigel Farage, the anti-EU leader of the UK Independence Party. But he doesn't have much cause to complain, given he said in May that a 52-48 win for the Remain side would be such a narrow margin that he'd fight for a second referendum to be held.

The surprise outcome of the EU vote result has sent global stock markets tumbling and the pound sterling plummeting to a 30-year low. It's also prompted the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron, and fears that other European nations could follow suit in leaving the union.

Update: The petition is now being investigated over allegations that some of the names that have been added could actually be fraudulent. According to the BBC, some 77,000 signatures were removed over the weekend.

"People adding fraudulent signatures to this petition should know that they undermine the cause they pretend to support," said lawmaker Helen Jones, who chairs the House of Commons petitions committee looking into the claims.

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