Britain is coming to terms with its decision to leave the European Union after Thursday’s dramatic referendum. Here are some of the questions that are doing the rounds in the U.K. this weekend:Can the referendum result somehow be overturned?Possible, but unlikely. It’s true that the referendum is non-binding and the U.K.’s next prime minister is under no legal compulsion to act on the result. And a new premier could, in theory, go back to the EU and ask to negotiate a new deal before taking it back for a second vote. But this option has been ruled out by the EU’s other leaders. Most importantly, it would be extremely difficult to ignore the views of the 17.4 million people who voted to leave.What about this petition calling for a second referendum?A record 1.6 million people have signed a petition on Parliament’s website calling for a second vote. However, there is no mechanism in the U.K. for the public to trigger a referendum — the most that a petition can achieve is a debate among lawmakers. There are a few other problems. The petition demands the government annul the plebiscite if either side wins by less by 60 percent or if turnout is less than 75 percent. But the referendum has already taken place. And all the country’s leading politicians have pledged to recognize the result. So this probably won’t go very far.
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