Current Affairs

Leave campaigner accidentally starts 3-million strong petition to hold second EU referendum

Joseph McCormick June 26, 2016
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In a surprise twist, it has emerged that a wildly popular parliamentary petition urging the British Government to call a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, was started by a right-wing leave campaigner.

As of Sunday afternoon, the petition had reached 3.2 million signatures, having gained a huge number of signatures since Friday morning when the result of the EU referendum revealed that 52 percent of voters wanted to leave.

By Saturday morning, the petition, started by William Oliver Healey, passed a million votes.

Oliver Healy

But the petition, which is being signed by many remain voters who suggest that the result of the referendum was too close to justify leaving the EU, was actually started a month ago by Healy, an English Democrats leave campaigner who did not believe that his side would win.

In a Facebook post, he has attempted to distance himself from the petition, which will trigger a parliamentary debate as it passed 100,000 signatures.


Dear All
Re: EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum petition
This petition was created at a time (over a month ago) when it was looking unlikely that ‘leave’ were going to win, with the intention of making it harder for ‘remain’ to further shackle us to the EU. Due to the result, the petition has been hijacked by the remain campaign. Admittedly, my actions were premature however, my intentions were as stated above. THERE WAS NO GUARANTEE OF A LEAVE VICTORY AT THAT TIME!!! Having said that, if it had not been mine, it would have been orchestrated by someone on the remain campaign. However, since I am associated with the petition and before the press further associate me with it I felt the need to better clarify my position on the issue even if it looks bad. I am it’s creator, nothing more! The logistical probability of getting a turnout to be a minimum of 75% and of that, 60% of the vote must be one or the other (leave or remain) is in my opinion next to impossible without a compulsory element to the voting system.

I have been opposed to the bureaucratic and undemocratic nature of the European Union as an institution privately for many years and for all of my political career. I have openly and actively lent my support to both Vote Leave and Grassroots Out campaigns – why would I do this if I wanted to remain in the EU? I am genuinely appalled by the behaviour of some of the remain campaign, how they are conducting themselves post-referendum not just with this petition but generally. The referendum was fairly funded; democratically endorsed, every vote was weighted equally and I believe this was a true reflection of the mood of the country. To my fellow leavers, now doubting their decision please keep the faith, we will be fine just stick with it. I believe what we need to do now for the good of the country; is get behind the will of the British people, unite, issue Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and move forward, with the process of leaving the European Union.

William Oliver Healey

Creator of EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum petition

According to his Facebook page “Oliver Healey is standing for the English Democrats in Leicestershire”.

The petition, which now that leave has won Healey appears angry about, urges the Government to call a second referendum on the basis of a vote either way less than 60 percent out of a turnout of 75 percent or more.

Since it has passed 100,000 signatures, the House of Commons will debate the issue – the campaign is still awaiting a debate date.

It reads: “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum.”

At one point on Friday, following the referendum announcement, a thousand people a minute were signing the petition, and it crashed the Government petitions website.

The UK narrowly voted in a referendum to leave the EU – with 17,410,742 (51.9%) votes to leave, and just 16,141,241 (48.1%) votes for remaining.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who had fought passionately for the UK to stay in the EU, resigned yesterday morning, saying the country must take a “different path”.

He added the country requires a “different captain to steer the ship” to drive the negotiations with the EU and devolved governments.

In his speech outside 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron cited his legacy – including passing same-sex marriage in 2013.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced that she felt it was “highly likely” that Scotland would hold a second independence referendum following the UK’s result.

Then today, Ms Sturgeon suggested that Scotland could effectively veto the UK’s exit from the EU.

More: EU referendum, EU Referendum, petition

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