The public responded to Theresa May’s statement, where she claimed she was ‘on their side’ in trying to deliver Brexit, by signing a petition that calls for the process to be stopped altogether.
As the prime minister attempts to extend Article 50 by three months to try and get her deal pushed through parliament once more, and with the threat of France, Spain and Belgium potentially vetoing such a move, the United Kingdom’s options are now limited.
An extension of Article 50 until June 30th would still give little time to look at alternative options, including a People’s Vote, making a no-deal Brexit more likely… despite a majority of parliamentarians being against it.
But judging by reaction to Theresa May’s latest address the public are fed up of the whole Brexit process.
This is best demonstrated by the momentum behind a fresh petition to revoke Article 50 on the government’s own petition website.
An influx of people signed the petition following another day of fresh political chaos, quickly surpassing the 100,000 signature threshold to generate a debate in the House of Commons, and trending globally on Twitter.
By midnight on Wednesday the petition had 300,000 signatures and by 8am it had passed 500,000 signatures, with the highest number of signatories in the Edinburgh constituencies, Bristol West, Cambridge, Hornsey and Wood Green, and Brighton Pavilion.
By 9am the next day the petition website had crashed with demand, leaving visitors with a ‘bad gateway’ message, and some believing it had been done intentionally. It was shortly replaced by a message that the website was ‘under maintenance.’
It had been backed by celebrity support including Hugh Grant, Professor Brian Cox
When the website is online, the text of the petition reads: ‘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.’
In her latest televised address Theresa May blamed MPs for failing to implement the result of the 2016 EU referendum.
She told frustrated voters: ‘I am on your side.’
‘Of this, I am absolutely sure: You the public have had enough,’ she said.
‘You want this stage of the Brexit process to be over and done with. I agree. I am on your side. It is now time for MPs to decide.’
Best for Britain supporter Jo Stevens MP said: ‘This petition shows the depth of anger in the country at the government’s shambolic mismanagement of Brexit and the damage which has already been done. Of the emails I’m receiving from worried constituents, 95% are calling on MPs to revoke Article 50 and stop the clock on this process.
‘The best way forward for the country would be to put this decision back to the people through a final say. But if we’re in a situation where the prime minister is holding the country, and MPs hostage to a completely arbitrary deadline of next week, then we must consider the option of taking this out of her hands.’
• The petition can be signed online on the government’s website here.