MPs to consider demand for second referendum on Brexit


Demands for a second referendum on Britain's European Union membership will be debated by MPs in Parliament.

A petition calling for the Government to hold a second poll as the turnout on June 23 was below 75% and fewer than 60% of the vote backed Brexit has received 4.1 million signatures, although it was subject to claims it had been hacked.

The House of Commons' Petitions Committee announced an investigation and later denied its site had been hacked after confirming tens of thousands of signatures were "fraudulently" added.

The petition, which has received the highest number of signatures on the e-petition system, asked for the Government to implement a rule that there should be another referendum on the EU membership question if the vote failed to achieve the two thresholds.

An official Government response to the campaign said the vote to leave the EU "must be respected" and Brexit preparations must now take place.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to begin the formal process of withdrawal from the EU next year.

SNP MP Ian Blackford, a member of the Petitions Committee, will open the debate on Monday although he declined to comment ahead of his speech.

Three hours have been allocated for the debate, which does not have the power to decide if a second referendum will take place, in Westminster Hall.

The Petitions Committee has made clear that it is not supporting the call for another referendum by agreeing to the debate.

It says its decision to schedule the topic is based on the "huge" number of signatories.

A Government minister will respond to the debate.