Brexit petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked hits three million signatures

Analysis of 16,000 petitions running on government website finds revoke Article 50 request has more than three times as many signatures as all pro-Brexit petitions combined

Tom Batchelor
Friday 22 March 2019 13:06 GMT
European Council President Donald Tusk tells media that EU leaders agree to delay the Brexit process

A petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked and Brexit cancelled has attracted more than three million signatures.

The milestone, hit by midday on Friday, was reached after more than two million people signed up in less than 24 hours.

It has since become the parliament website’s fastest growing petition despite the service crashing several times on Thursday, apparently unable to cope with demand as people voiced their discontent for Theresa May’s plans for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Signatures continued to be added even after the threat of a no-deal exit on 29 March was removed when EU leaders agreed Brexit could be delayed.

At one point nearly 2,000 people were signing up every minute.

Analysis by software firm Tableau of the 16,000 petitions running on the government website showed the revoke Article 50 petition had more than three times as many signatures as all the pro-Brexit petitions combined.

After the number of signatures passed one million, the petitions committee, a cross-party group of MPs appointed to examine petitions to parliament, said the rate of signing was the highest its website had ever had to deal with.

Organiser Margaret Anne Georgiadou wrote: “The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’.

“We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.”

The petition has eclipsed the nearly 400,000 signatures attracted on a petition started in November calling for Britain to leave the EU without a deal.

Asked about the growing number of signatories, Ms May said she did not believe in halting the deadline after the EU offered a delay plan.

She added: “I do not believe that we should be revoking Article 50.”

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