A British Tory councilor has launched a petition to make supporting the UK’s membership in the European Union (EU) a treasonable offense.
The petition, posted by Christian Holliday on the UK Government and Parliament website, says a Victorian-era legislation should be amended to include his proposed rule. The petition’s demands include:
“The Treason Felony Act be amended to include the following offences:
To imagine, devise, promote, work, or encourage others, to support UK becoming a member of the European Union;
To conspire with foreign powers to make the UK, or part of the UK, become a member of the EU.”
At the time of the writing, over 330 people had signed the petition. To be heard by the government, Holliday needs at least 10,000 signatures. The number goes up to 100,000 for a debate in the Parliament.
Holliday’s move elicited attacks from his fellow councilors, with Tory councilor Mario Creatura denouncing the petition as “the worst kind of Orwellian censorship.”
Nearly 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the EU during a referendum on June 23. The British government decided to proceed with the decision despite Scotland’s vote against it.
Aside from Scotland, some British and European politicians have also advised London against the departure.
Experts have warned that leaving the EU will severely hurt London’s position as a financial hub, unless the UK decides to keep its access to the single EU market by loosening its stance on immigration.
Tighter border control was one of the main demands of the anti-EU campaigners in the build-up to the referendum.
According to a draft government paper, the UK’s economic output could fall up to 9.5 percent if the country leaves the single market.
The leaked document also maintains that Britain could lose up to £66 billion ($81 billion) a year in gross domestic product (GDP) and lose almost a tenth of its tax revenue with a tough exit.
Holliday’s petition is only one of the many submitted by the so-called Leave campaigners. A petition that called for “All European Union flags, emblems and logos to be removed from all public buildings” received nearly 19,000 signatures.
Another appeal “Not to allow freedom of movement as part of any deal with the EU after Brexit” was signed by 20,000 people.