Here's why a petition for a second referendum is a "waste of time", according to Britain's election expert John Curtice

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
Follow Shruti
Britain Reacts To The EU Referendum Result
Over 17 million people voted for Britain leaving the EU (Source: Getty)

The petition to hold a second referendum, which has attracted nearly two million signatures, is a "waste of time", a top expert has said.

Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University, whose exit poll last year accurately predicted the Conservatives would win the general election, has branded the petition a "waste of time".

Curtice told City A.M.: "The point of the petition is not entirely clear and I don't see a second referendum happening. It's a waste of time."

William Oliver Healey, the creator of the petition, has called on the government to hold another referendum claiming the winning vote for Leave was less than 60 per cent and the turnout was less than 75 per cent.

Curtice added: "The only way a second referendum will take place is if in the intervening period before we actually exit, a general election is held and a poll shows that people want to reverse the decision of Britain leaving the EU.

In that scenario, the party in the opposition could demand a second referendum. Otherwise, it's not happening."

"What we'll see now is MPs debating the petition in parliament with eurosceptics celebrating their victory and others saying 'it's a shame Britain is leaving the EU'. There is no legal obligation whatsoever to act on it."

Curtice went on to say that Remainers should accept the outcome of the referendum in which over 30 million people voted.

"We're a democracy and Britain has made a decision. The real issue now is the terms and conditions of the relationship with the EU - that's what we should be concentrating on."

Remain campaigner Jeremy Corbyn has also rejected the idea of a second referendum.

Read more: The petition for a second EU referendum just passed 1,700,000 signatures

The Labour leader said: "The referendum has taken place, a decision has been made. I think we have got to accept that decision and work out our relationship with Europe in the future."

Meanwhile, the Scottish government is set to open discussions with Brussels immediately about finding a way to keep Scotland in the European Union, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed this morning.

"We will seek to enter into immediate discussions with EU institutions and EU member states to explore all possible options to protect Scotland's position in the EU," Sturgeon said.

Brexit Britain: What you need to know