May dismisses Brexit petition despite it outnumbering pro-Brexit petitions 2:1
PUBLISHED: 08:38 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:17 22 March 2019
A petition that urges the government to revoke Article 50 has soared past the two million signatures mark, making it the biggest on the petitions website.
Analysis by the data analytics guru at software firm Tableau has analysed the top 30 petitions running on the government website.
Andy Cotgreave from the business found that the Revoke Article 50 petition has more than twice as many signatures as all the pro-Brexit petitions combined.
Despite this Theresa May has ruled out cancelling the Brexit countdown despite the significant level of support.
Asked by the Press Association whether she thought the public’s view had shifted towards revoking Article 50, May said: “If you look back to what happened in the referendum, we saw the biggest democratic exercise in our history.
“And there was a clear result that we should leave the European Union.
“We said here’s the vote, what is your decision, and we will deliver on it.
“And I believe it’s our duty as a government and as a parliament to deliver on that vote.”
The petition on the website quickly gained support in the wake of the prime minister’s speech on Wednesday night and Revoke Article 50 started to trend on Twitter.
As of 8am on Friday, 2.5 million people had pledged their support to the cause.
The Petitions Committee said nearly 2,000 signatures were being completed every minute over Thursday lunchtime, crashing the website because of the unprecedented hit-rate.
It quickly passed the 100,000-signature threshold needed for it to be debated in parliament.
By contrast, the most popular pro-Brexit petition on the website, which calls on the government to “leave the EU without a deal in March 2019”, had received around 375,000 signatories by Thursday afternoon.
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.”
• The petition can be signed online on the government’s website here.