Britain at crossroads as 2 million sign petition to cancel Brexit
London, March 21, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A petition calling for British Prime Minister, Theresa May to cancel Brexit by revoking Article 50 has passed two million signatures.
Parliament’s petitions committee tweeted that the rate of signatures was “the highest the site has ever had to deal with”, after the website crashed.
EU leaders in Brussels have reached agreement on a plan to delay Brexit beyond 29 March.
Downing Street said the prime minister “has said many times she will not countenance revoking Article 50”.
The PM’s spokesman added: “The PM has long been clear that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of democracy and a failure she wouldn’t countenance.”
Revoke Article 50 has been trending on Twitter as people were urged to sign it. At one point, the petitions committee said there were nearly 2,000 signatures a minute.
It later tweeted that sudden spikes in numbers continued to cause intermittent problems with the site. It also said validation emails were taking longer than usual to get through.
The petition’s heat map shows the constituencies with the highest number of signatories, including seats in Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, London, Cambridge and Brighton.
It is not the most popular ever on the Parliament website. A petition for a second EU referendum in June 2016 attracted more than four million signatures and was debated in the Commons – but thousands of signatures were removed after it was discovered to have been hijacked by automated bots.
People signing petitions on the Parliament website are asked to tick a box saying they are a British citizen or UK resident and to confirm their name, email address, and postcode to sign.
Data from the petitions website on Thursday evening suggested 1.3m signatures were from people who said they were from the UK, 10,000 from France, nearly 6,000 from Spain and more than 4,000 from Germany, among others.
A Commons spokesman said signature patterns are investigated to check for fraudulent activity and suspect signatures are removed, including those that are “clearly bots”.
He added: “Anyone who is a UK resident or a British citizen can sign a petition. This includes British citizens living overseas BBC