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Not going quietly: Petitions flood in after Brexit vote

The U.K. has spoken. Last week, 51.9 percent of the British public voted to leave the European Union. However, those who voted to remain aren't giving up without a fight.

Following a narrow win by the leave campaign, a slew of petitions concerning the referendum's outcome have garnered popularity over the weekend.

From the possibility of a second referendum, to the future of the opposition Labour party's leadership; CNBC takes a look at some of the petitions that have fueled fiery conversations since the vote.

Will the UK see another EU referendum?

If there's one petition voters are talking about, it's the one that's secured over 3.9 million signatures, after it called for a second EU referendum. The petition calls on 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 another referendum."

Despite the success of the petition, not all is as it seems. First off, a campaigner for the English Democrats party, Oliver Healey stated on Facebook that he created the petition over a month ago, when "it was looking unlikely that 'leave' were going to win". He then added that the petition had now been "hijacked" by pro-EU backers; with the English Democrats party issuing its own statement on this.

The House of Commons confirmed with CNBC that the petition was created on May 24, 2016, however couldn't confirm the reports about the petition's origins.

Furthermore, the House of Commons' petitions committee has released a statement saying that it is investigating the petition for any fraudulent signatures, of which over 77,000 have now been removed. The petition is to be considered on June 28 by the committee, as to whether it will schedule a debate on the petition.

"The chance of no-Brexit is low but not zero. The referendum result just gives the prime minister a mandate. Whether or not parliament goes against it really depends on how much momentum the anti-Brexit campaign gains and if any prominent Brexit campaigners publicly defect," analysts at Berenberg said in a note received Monday.


Vote of confidence for Corbyn

A petition asking for a "vote of confidence" in Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has received more than 215,000 signatures on campaigns site "38 Degrees", after members of Corbyn's senior team withdrew support for him and called for him to stand down.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses an audience at the People's History Museum and sets out reasons why Labour is voting remain, in the EU referendum.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses an audience at the People's History Museum and sets out reasons why Labour is voting remain, in the EU referendum.

Several members of Corbyn's shadow cabinet have resigned since the vote, with one Labour MP, Angela Eagle, saying in a letter to Corbyn—posted on Twitter—that the party needed a "leader who can unite rather than divide."

Despite Corbyn being accused of conducting a lackluster pro-EU campaign by MPs and critics, the Labour leader said he would not stand down.

Independence for London?

Out of the 12 regions who voted in the referendum, only a quarter voted to remain in the EU: Scotland, Northern Ireland and London.

There have been discussions surrounding the possibility of both Scotland and Northern Ireland vetoing the Brexit decision; and now it seems the U.K.'s capital city wants its own say, after 59.9 percent of Londoners voted to stay.

Following the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU, freelance journalist James O'Malley started a petition on Change.org, asking London's mayor, Sadiq Khan to declare London as "independent from the U.K. and (let it) apply to join the EU". What initially started as a tongue-in-cheek petition has soon garnered the support of over 175,000 signatures.

"It started as a bit of a joke. I started it after the results came in at about 6 a.m. — so it was basically a frustrated cry," O'Malley told CNBC via email, adding that dozens of people have since emailed, asking to help with the campaign.

"So I'm starting to think more seriously about how the petition could be used to make some positive change. For example, I'm wondering if it could help encourage a debate about giving London greater devolution and granting the Mayor more powers."

"The popularity is pretty mind-blowing. It's heartening in a sense after such a depressing Brexit vote to see that there are still thousands of people out there who would like a city that is outward facing and welcoming to outsiders."


Other noteworthy campaigns

These three campaigns may be some of the most talked about among the British public and media, however, a lot more have been launched in light of the Brexit vote. On Change.Org alone, there are over 400 petitions and more than 360,000 supporters in its "EU Referendum Reaction" section.

Over 105,000 have signed a petition asking the Council of the European Union, along with the European Commission to offers "a means for U.K. citizens to retain their European citizenship"; while more than 15,500 have urged the U.K. prime minister to create an "independent regulator to ensure truth in political advertising", in light of the political campaign material used by both campaigns in the run up to the vote.

With the referendum vote only letting people aged 18 or above to vote, more than 19,000 are asking the government to re-hold the referendum, so that 16 and 17 years olds can voice their opinions.

"As the political arguments continue people are taking to the internet because they know petitions are the best way for people to make their voices heard," Tom Bage, communications director at Change.org UK, told CNBC via email.

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