A Conservative councillor has launched a petition to make anyone who supports the UK remaining a member of the EU punishable under the treason act.
Christian Holliday, the Tory councillor for Burpham, set up the parliamentary petition to amend the Treason Felony Act, first set up in 1848 and previously carried a penalty of death, in order to include anyone who still campaigns for Britain to remain part of the EU after it officially leaves.
The petition reads "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."
If successful Holliday wants to law change to take place the day the UK leaves the EU, which estimated to take place by April 2017.
As with all parliamentary petitions, if it manages to attract 10,000 signatures, the campaign will be debated in parliament by MPs. At the time of publication, Holiday's petition had gained 168 signatures after being online for two days.
Explaining his decision for setting up the petition, Holiday wrote: "It is becoming clear that many politicians and others are unwilling to accept the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU. Brexit must not be put at risk in the years and decades ahead. For this reason we the undersigned request that the Treason Felony Act be amended as set out in this petition."
Earlier this year, a separate parliamentary petition urging a second EU Referendum if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum attracted more than 4.1 million signatures, many of which were signed after the result of the historic vote.
Responding to the petition which did raise a debate in Westminster Hall, the government said: The European Union Referendum Act received Royal Assent in December 2015, receiving overwhelming support from Parliament. The Act did not set a threshold for the result or for minimum turnout."
Update: Christian Holliday has now been suspended by his local party over the petition.