Theresa May says she will not revoke Article 50 despite viral petition
- Credit: PA
Theresa May 'will not countenance' revoking Article 50, despite a petition that wants to scrap Brexit reaching a million signatures.
When asked for Theresa May's view on the petition, a No 10 spokeswoman said May worried failing to deliver Brexit would cause 'potentially irreparable damage to public trust'.
She said: 'The prime minister has long been clear that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of our democracy and something she couldn't countenance.
'The prime minister has said many times she will not countenance revoking Article 50.'
The petition saw the highest rate of sign-ups on record. More than one million people had signed, following increased activity on the website after the prime minister's speech on Wednesday night.
You may also want to watch:
The Petitions Committee said nearly 2,000 signatures were being completed every minute over Thursday lunchtime, crashing the website because of the unprecedented number of visits.
The petition is the third most popular to be submitted to the Parliament website, surpassing the 100,000-signature threshold needed for it to be debated in Parliament.
- 1 Why Bristol is the street art city
- 2 Telling the truth is now the only sackable offence
- 3 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 4 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
- 5 What I learned by avoiding England and the Euros
- 6 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 7 How long can Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi play on?
- 8 Could southern discomfort sink a rebalancing agenda still in its infancy?
- 9 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 10 Why Brexit still feels like a personal loss
A 2016 petition calling for a second EU referendum should the winning vote and turnout not reach a certain threshold has received the most signatories to date, at almost 4.2 million.
A petition to prevent Donald Trump from making a state visit to the UK is in second place with 1.9 million sign-ups.
By contrast, the most popular pro-Brexit petition on the parliament website, which calls on the government to 'leave the EU without a deal in March 2019', had received almost 375,000 signatories at the time of writing.
The website requires signatories to tick a box confirming they are a British citizen or UK resident and provide a name, email address, country and postcode.
Data from the petitions website shows 960,000 signatories claim to be from the UK, followed by France (8,300), Spain (4,600) and Germany (3,700).
The constituencies with the highest number of sign-ups are Bristol West (Labour, 6,900), Hornsey and Wood Green in London (Labour, 5,937) and Brighton Pavilion (Green, 5,800).
Signatures are not counted if people do not click a link in a confirmation email but they are not required to provide any proof of their address or citizenship.
A House of Commons spokesman said: 'We know that the petitions website has been experiencing problems due to the number of people using the site.
'This is a mixture of people signing petitions and refreshing the site to see changes to the number of signatures.
'The majority of people are now able to use the website and we and the government digital service are working to fix any outstanding problems as soon as possible.'
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.