UK Government rejects petition calling for second Brexit referendum

The petition was signed by more than four million people

A petition signed by 4.1 million people calling for a second EU membership referendum has been formally rejected by the UK Government.

The petition, which was launched before the referendum, called for a re-run of the vote in the case that there was a narrow victory for either Leave or Remain.

Last month’s vote saw the British public choose to leave the EU by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) formally rejected the petition today saying that the result “must be respected”.

In a statement the FCO said: "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 June 27, 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."

Originally launched in May, the petition received a flood of signatories following the vote on June 23 as millions of people expressed their displeasure with the result of the vote.

Nearly 80,000 allegedly fake signatures were removed from the petition by authorities as hackers claimed responsibility for adding thousands of counterfeit names.