The top two petitions to government of 2019, backed by nearly eight million people, were calls to revoke Article 50 and to prevent Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament that was later found to be unlawful.
The two petitions on the government’s website had nearly three times as many signatures than the rest of the top ten combined, reflecting massive public concern about the effects of Brexit and parliament’s ability to scrutinise it.
The next nearest rival, asking the government to leave the EU without a deal, trailed behind with the support of just over 60,000 people.
The pro-Brexit calls were dwarfed by the petition that called on the government to ‘revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’, becoming the biggest petition ever to be presented to government with a massive 6,103,057 signatures.
MORE: The petition to revoke Article 50 is now the biggest in historyThe record-breaking petition, which was started by Margaret Georgiadou in April, received a government response by the end of March saying that it will not revoke Article 50.
The second biggest petition on the government website came about after rumours emerged that Boris Johnson would consider prorogation of parliament in order to force his Brexit agenda through – which turned out to be prophetic.
Launched by policy analyst Mark Johnston, the petition took off when the rumour became a reality, gaining 1,725,631 signatures in total.
Public concern – that the prorogation was being put through in order to prevent parliamentary scrutiny of the government’s Brexit dealings – was echoed in the highest court in the land, where Supreme Court justices led by Lady Hale declared the move unlawful.
VIDEO: Read in full Lady Hale’s damning Supreme Court statement about Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliamentConcern about the effects of Brexit was also one of the highest issues on the agenda of people signing Change.org petitions in 2019.
That website’s top petition of the year saw more than 1.25 million people support calls to keep the health service out of any transatlantic trade talks between Boris Johnson and US president Donald Trump.
It was launched in June by NHS doctor Sonia Adesara following Trump’s visit to the UK.
The third-most popular campaign on Change-org – following a call to ban trophy hunting imports – saw more than 400,000 signatories call on the government to make sure the UK does not leave the EU without some kind of Brexit deal.
The petition was started by Hackney councillor and charity pioneer Mete Coban, who was made an MBE in the 2020 new year honours list for services to young people.