Petition to Cancel Brexit Draws 3 Million Signatures in 2 Days, Raises Hopes for New UK Referendum
The snowballing popularity of the Cancel Brexit petition might help the campaign for a second refendum on Britain’s exit from the EU.
A petition on the British Parliament website requesting that Brexit, the UK’s exit from the EU, be canceled by revoking Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, has gathered more than 3 million signatures within a matter of 2 days.
The petition to do away with Brexit, and keep Britain in the EU began snowballing on Wednesday, and in the past 24 hours alone, the number of its signatories has grown by 2 million causing the site of the British Parliament to crash.
The spiraling popularity of the Cancel Brexit petition with UK citizens comes against the backdrop of Thursday night’s decision of the the EU 27 leaders agreed to delay Brexit in response to Wednesday’s request by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
According to the conclusions of the European Council Summit, the European Union granted the UK an extension on Brexit from the originally set date of March 29, 2019.
The Brexit extension will be until May 22, the day before the 2019 EU Elections, if the British Parliament approves next week UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s amended Brexit deal with the Union, or until April 12, if the legislature in London fails to do so.
People signing petitions on the website of the British Parliament are asked to tick a box saying they are a British citizen or UK resident and to confirm their name, email address, and postcode to sign.
According to data from the petitions website, the first 2 million signatories of the petition to cancel Brexit included almost 1.3 million people living in the UK, 10,000 in living France, nearly 6,000 from Spain and about 4,000 from Germany.
“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,” the Cancel Brexit petition says.
The petition could “give oxygen” to the campaign for holding a second Brexit referendum in the UK, Layla Moran, a MP from the British Liberal Democrats party, told the BBC.
“We have to find a way forward in the next week and I hope what this will do is give oxygen to the People’s Vote campaign,” she said, referring to the cammpaign for a new referendum.
The Lib Dem MP insisted that the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s existing Brexit deal with the EU should be put to the public in a referendum, alongside the option to remain in the Union.
“The People’s Vote remains an option because it is still compatible with Theresa May’s deal. If she wants her deal to stay alive, the People’s Vote is the way to do it,” Moran argued.
“I hope the prime minister listens but she has a long history of not involving Parliament and not wanting to involve the people,” she stated further.
May has consistent reiterated that holding a new Brexit referendum was not an option since the British public already made a decision on June 23, 2016.
She did so once again on Thursday night after the petition to cancel Brexit surpassed the mark of 2 million signatories.
“They voted in 2016, they voted to leave. I think the time is now to deliver for the British people, the time is now to make the decision,” May said
The European Court of Justice, the EU’s top court, ruled back in December 2018 that the UK was entitled to revoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union unilaterally, meaning it did not need the consent of the 27 other member states to cancel Brexit.
With the extension granted by the EU, the UK has until April 12 to decide on its next step in the Brexit process.
(Banner image: Petition website of British Parliament)