britain, uk - eu flag, brexit.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Elionas2, used under CC0

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."

Latest news

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

The New York Times, CNN and Politico were among the organizations blocked from Friday's so-called gaggle, or informal briefing, according to reporters from those outlets. Representatives of the Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the meeting in a show of solidarity, according to the Times.

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.

Trump says he represents America, 'not the globe'

US President Donald Trump said Friday his aim is to serve the United States and not the rest of the world, doubling down on his "America First" message in wide-ranging remarks to a conservative conference.

Croat member of Bosnia's state presidency says crisis won't escalate

The Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's collective State Presidency, Dragan Covic, said on Friday that the crisis caused by the unilateral submission of a request for a review of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) genocide ruling from 2007 against Serbia would not escalate into an armed conflict.