Revoke Article 50 Petition Reaches 5 Million Signatures

George Bowden
The petition surpassed 5 million signatures on Sunday.

A petition calling for Britain to remain a member of the European Union has surpassed five million signatures.

The Revoke Article 50 appeal, dubbed the “stop Brexit” petition, earlier leapt ahead of a 2016 petition calling for a second EU referendum.

The milestone was reached after an estimated one million demonstrators marched on Westminster calling for a “People’s Vote” on Saturday.

The appeal has had the highest rate of sign-ups on record, according to parliament’s official petitions committee, adding over two million signatures in 24 hours this week.

The petition took the top spot from another proposal which called for a second EU referendum should the winning vote and turnout not reach a certain threshold.

By contrast, a pro-Brexit petition on the Parliament website which urges the government to leave the EU without a deal has received 455,000 signatories.

The milestone came as speculation that Theresa May will be ousted from Number 10 reached fever pitch amid reports cabinet ministers were plotting a coup to get rid of her.

The prime minister could be forced to resign within days, one paper claimed, amid a furious backlash over her handling of Brexit.

But the coup quickly faltered after two senior ministers being lined up to replace her said they wanted the prime minister to stay in post.

Michael Gove and David Lidington both backed May to continue despite reports that 11 cabinet ministers want her to stand down and make way for a caretaker leader.

May has previously ruled out halting the Brexit process when in Brussels on Thursday, telling reporters: “I do not believe that we should be revoking Article 50.”

Could revoking Article 50 petition actually work?

Revoking Article 50 is – legally – possible, according to experts. Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked at any time until withdrawal, which means that no Brexit remains an option from a legal perspective, academic Oliver Patel wrote in an article for HuffPost UK.

The petition was created by Margaret Anne Georgiadou, a former college lecturer who has subsequently claimed she has received death threats due to the effort.

Data provided by the petition committee on the location of signatories was paused on Friday to help website operations after the official site crashed numerous times.

In a tweet, the Commons committee said approximately 96% of signatories were from the UK.

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.

Though some activists claimed they have signed up to the appeal multiple times using different aliases, Channel 4 News reported.

The petition, which started in late February, leapt in popularity following the prime minister’s appeal to the public on Wednesday where she told frustrated voters: “I am on your side.”

It quickly passed the 100,000-signature threshold needed for it to be debated in parliament, with the official committee revealing nearly 2,000 signatures were being completed every minute over Thursday lunchtime.

Many celebrities and MPs have tweeted their support for parliament to revoke the Treaty of Lisbon clause that deals with leaving the EU.

Organisers estimated well over a million people poured into the capital on Saturday to take part in the so-called “Put it to the People” march.

The London march coincided with pro-Brexit campaigners continuing their long hike from the North East to the capital.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage re-joined the “March to Leave” when it set off from Linby, near Nottingham, on Saturday morning, where some 200 people were in attendance.

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