The British government has rejected an online petition signed by 4.1 million people calling for a new referendum on whether to leave the European Union.

Britons voted by 52 to 48 percent, or 17.4 million votes to 16.1 million, to leave the EU in a June 23 referendum, a result which most politicians have said should be respected but which some who voted “remain” are struggling to accept.

The petition called for the government to enact a rule that there should be another referendum if the vote for “remain” or “leave” was less than 60 percent based on a turnout of less than 75 percent.

The Foreign Office, the ministry that had steered through parliament the EU Referendum Act setting out the rules, responded that the legislation did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout.

“The Prime Minister and Government have been clear that this was a once in a generation vote and, as the Prime Minister has said, the decision must be respected,” it said.

A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London, Britain June 24, 2016.    REUTERS/Toby Melville

A taxi driver holds a Union flag, as he celebrates following the result of the EU referendum, in central London, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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