An online petition for a second referendum on the U.K.'s membership in the European Union has gained more than 2 million signatures -- and is still growing -- but the effort is likely too little, too late.
The petition for a do-over vote, created by William Oliver Healey on May 25, requests that the British government adjust the rules of the game. It suggests there should be a rule that referendums with less than 75% turnout should require a second referendum unless a decision is reached by more than 60% of voters. Thursday's referendum saw 72.2% voter turnout, with the leave vote winning with just 51.9% support.
The petition has picked up steam as panic ensued in the U.K. and across the globe in the wake of the shocking Brexit vote. It even temporarily crashed the parliament.uk website.
When a petition gets over 100,000 votes, it is required to be debated by the British Parliament. But the body is not required to act, and by most accounts, efforts to repeal the Brexit decision are in vain.
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson declared the petition has "zero chance of being enacted," largely because it is retrospective legislation.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned immediately after the vote Friday, has said previously that there would be no second referendum. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dismissed the idea as well. "The referendum has taken place, a decision has been made, I think we have to accept that decision and work out our relationship with Europe in the future," he said.
A separate petition has also emerged on Change.org calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare the English capital independent and allow it to remain in the EU. "London is an international city, and we want to remain at the heart of Europe," the petition reads. It surpassed 100,000 signatures on Saturday.
Londoners largely voted to remain in the European Union: across all 33 boroughs in the city, 59.9% voted to stay. In some areas, the remain vote reached as high as 70%.
A hashtag for the petition, #londependence, spread across Twitter as well.
Khan in a statement following the Brexit vote said he believes that Britain is better off in the EU but acknowledged the democratic will of the people must be fulfilled. He also assured people in Britain and the rest of the world that "there is no need to panic" about the decision. "Although we will be outside the EU, it is crucial we remain part of the single market," he said, also emphasizing to the Europeans living in London, "You are welcome here."
David Lammy, a British Labour Party politician and member of Parliament for Tottenham, on Saturday took to Twitter, telling constituents, "Wake up. We do not have to do this." He argued the decision to leave the EU could be stopped through a vote in the Parliament.
Despite protests, however, the Brexit wheels are already in motion and gaining momentum. Jonathan Hill, the U.K.'s representative on the European Commission in charge of financial services and the capital markets union, announced his resignation Saturday. "I don't believe it is right that I should carry on as the British Commissioner as though nothing had happened," he said. European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker is pushing for fast negotiations for the Brexit, telling journalists that the exit process should start "as soon as possible."
See full coverage of the Brexit debate here.