A petition that calls on the government to revoke Article 50 is expected to hit four million signatures ahead of the People’s Vote march – as the petitions committee refuted Brexiteer claims signatories were from abroad.
Significant attempts by Brexiteers and the pro-Brexit media have tried to play down the significance of the Article 50 petition, which is now the biggest on the government’s website.
Claims by Brexiteer broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer wrongly suggested people could sign the petition more than once with the same email address, while newspapers like the Express claimed more than half of signatories were from outside the United Kingdom.
According to the newspaper Brexiteer Nigel Farage wanted a public inquiry to understand why people in Russia and North Korea were signing it.
But parliament’s petitions committee refuted the claims, saying that 96% of signatories were from the United Kingdom.
It tweeted on Friday: ‘A few people have been talking about fraud and overseas signatures. As of this afternoon, approximately 96% of signatures on the petition were from the UK. That’s broadly what we’d expect for a petition like this.’
The committee added: ‘People have been asking about who can sign petitions. Anyone who is a UK resident or a British citizen can sign a petition. This includes British citizens living overseas.’
Just 4% of signatories are from outside the UK with the majority coming from countries with large British expat populations like France, Spain, Germany and the US.
A new petition from Brexiteers in support of a no-deal Brexit had managed just 400,000 people by early Saturday morning.
The Revoke Article 50 petition went viral after Theresa May’s televised address claimed she was on the people’s side in wanting to resolve Brexit.
• The anti-Brexit petition can be signed online on the government’s website here.