5. Types of referendum[...]It does not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum, nor set a time limit by which a vote to leave the EU should be implemented. Instead, this is a type of referendum known as pre-legislative or consultative, which enables the electorate to voice an opinion which then influences the Government in its policy decisions.
And an important addendum to the story - and why it is of more than passing interest: It is only because the referendum was not binding that the courts have not declared it void due to illegalities. This interview with Jessica Simor QC clearly explains this.
Anyone doubting that someone in her position would be telling fibs should remember that she has form in this area.
Who could forget Catgate for instance.
However - Perhaps the advisory nature of the referendum was the biggest lie of all (but by Cameron, not May). MPs voted on it, knowing that it was advisory. Some reservations were glossed over because it was advisory.
A good example of it was Alex Salmond's proposed (but rejected) so called "quadruple lock", that every nation in the Union would have to secure a majority to make a change.
The reasons given were that this type of legislation was unnecessary because of the advisory nature of the referendum.
But within days of the referendum bill passing, Cameron was promising to implement the result. First in the Commons, then in the leaflet sent to every household. No MP had voted for the bill on that basis however.
Cameron thought he was being clever by doing this, by pledging immediate activation of Article 50. He thought it would emphasise the final irreversible nature of any decision and convince voters against choosing leave.
It didn't though - and this is why we are in the mess we are in now. Cameron's lie was the one that started it off, but others have used it as a perfect foundation for a multifarious plethora of other mistruths.