Virgin boss Branson urges second look at Brexit vote, backs petition

Virgin founder Richard Branson on Monday urged the British parliament to take a "second look" at the referendum on a British EU exit, saying the vote does not reflect the views of most young people or lawmakers.

Branson, who backed the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU, said Leave voters "quickly learned that they'd been repeatedly misled by the Leave campaign," following Thursday's vote.

"Meanwhile, the vast majority of young people, who voted overwhelmingly to remain, feel their own future has been taken out of their hands by an ageing UK population that will not have to suffer the consequences of a lifetime out of Europe," he said in a Virgin blog.

Only 36 per cent of voters aged 18-24 took part in the referendum, according to estimates by polling analysts, in a national turnout of 72 per cent.

An estimated 73 per cent of young voters favoured staying in the EU, compared with around 43 per cent of people over 45 years old, according to pollster Lord Ashcroft.

Branson urged people to back an online petition to parliament urging a second referendum because the votes to leave represented only about 40 per cent of the electorate. More than 3.7 million people had signed the petition by Monday.

"The decision over the UK's future was based on false promises that pushed a minority of the UK's total voting population (17 million out of 46 million) to vote the way it did," Branson wrote.

"Two years before Brexit will even become reality, according to EU rules, it is already having massive consequences on the UK economy, and on society," he said. "Brexit has fractured the country more than any other event in recent memory."

Last update: Mon, 27/06/2016 - 15:05


More from Europe

Renzi quits as prime minister, leaving Italy in political quagmire

Italy was plunged into fresh political turmoil Wednesday, as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after complying...

Brexit debate strains nerves as May remains coy with plan's details

British lawmakers debated the government's Brexit strategy on Wednesday after Prime Minister Theresa May agreed,...

NATO strongly supports Ukraine's integrity, says Croatian FM

NATO strongly supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and the European Union's sanctions against Russia will remain...

Three detained in France for connection to police killings

Three men have been detained in France for their suspected links to Larossi Abballa, the extremist who killed two...

Political veteran Doris Leuthard elected Swiss president for 2017

Centre-right politician Doris Leuthard will serve as Swiss president next year, the parliament decided Wednesday in...