Signatures on an anti-prorogation petition have been going up by the minute after the news broke that Boris Johnson plans to take drastic action to prevent parliament from sitting.
A petition on the government petitions website titled “Do not prorogue parliament” has over 250,000 signatures at time of writing, although the numbers are increasing so fast this figure is likely to date quickly. It has received nearly 100,000 signatures in the last hour alone.
The request, started in August, asks the government not to prorogue parliament without extending Article 50 or cancelling Brexit altogether.
“Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled,” asks Mark Johnston, who started the petition.
The request is in response to the shocking announcement that the prime minister plans to prorogue parliament, enabling him to force the UK to leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
READ: Government to ask Queen to suspend parliamentThe petition has easily hit the goal of 10,000 signatures, requiring a government response.
By receiving well over the required 100,000 signatures, it has also more than doubly qualified for consideration for a debate in parliament.
This puts the prime minister in an awkward position given that he has vowed to drastically reduce the availability of parliamentary time for exactly such discussions.